How might one paraphrase John Milton's sonnet "When I consider how my light is spent"?  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

To paraphrase a text is to summarize or explain it but especially to do so by rephrasing it in one’s own words. Thus a paraphrase of John Milton’s sonnet “When I consider how my light is spent” might read as follows:


When I consider how my light is spent,

When I think about the fact that my light is extinguished [that is, that I am blind]


Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,

before I have lived half the time I expect to live in this dark and wide world


And that one Talent which is death to hide

and when I consider that the gifts that God gave me (probably referrring to Milton's literary talent, but also with a definite pun on the meaning of “talent” as a coin which God expects one to use wisely) may go unused and thus lead to a kind of spiritual death for me


Lodged with me useless, though my Soul more bent

because I am now incapable of using those gifts, even though in my...

(The entire section contains 508 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team