Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Carpe Diem "Distillation" #3 Paradise Lost by John Milton

Dear haijin, visitors and travelers,

The English poet John Milton (1608-1674) was a contemporary of Basho (1644-1694) they perhaps didn't meet eachother, but for this episode of Carpe Diem's "Distillation" I bring Milton in contact with the poetry which Basho made famous ... the haiku.

Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton (1608-1674). It was originally published in 1667 in ten books, with a total of over ten thousand individual lines of verse. A second edition followed in 1674, changed into twelve books. It is considered by critics to be Milton's "major work", and the work helped to solidify his reputation as one of the greatest English poets of his time.

The poem concerns the Biblical story of the Fall of Man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Milton's purpose, stated in Book I, is to "justify the ways of God to men".

Title page of the first edition in ten books of "Paradise Lost"
This first edition was published in 1667

In Paradise Lost Milton captures the unease eclipses generated in early Europeans. I love to share a part of Paradise Lost here about eclipses, our prompt of yesterday:

As when the Sun, new risen,
Looks through the horizontal misty air,
Shorn of his beams, or from behind the Moon,
In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds
On half the nations, and with fear of change
perplexes monarchs.

A beautiful part of Paradise Lost I think.

What was the goal of this "Distillation"? The goal is to distil a haiku from the classical poem given. Try to write a haiku distilled from this part of Paradise Lost by John Milton. Have fun, be inspired and share your "distillation" with our Haiku Kai.

My "distillation":

amidst the day
disastrous twilight falls
the world in fear

This episode of Carpe Diem's "Distillation" will close on October 14th at 11.59 AM (CET) and then I will try to post a new "distillation"-episode.


  1. Great... yes a wonderful challenge... really worth trying.

  2. This is a wonderful challenge, I agree with Bjorn (sorry for the lack of O-Umlaut on my keyboard). Paradise Lost has been an inspiration for many a great work. And your distillation, Kristjaan, is simply magnificent. I took a long time thinking what I could write in response to this piece from PL. Haven't written anything yet :-)

  3. Enjoyed attempting this challenge and liked your distillation Kristjaan:-)Apologies for missing so many fabulous challenges but our biggest festival takes off tomorrow,with Goddess Durga starting on her earthly journey -she reaches on 9th & stays at her parent's place for 5 days and then leaves.So it is a happy time for us here-specially my community:-)October,and early November(Festival of lights "Diwali"),am afraid will be very busy celebrating but I will try to peep in and write whenever I can:-)