Monday, September 27, 2010


The three works I read, two being poems and one being a short story, were all very enjoyable and interesting to read. The short story was called “One Word” by Elizabeth Gilbert, and the two poems were called “When I consider how my light is spent by John Milton, and “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun” by William Shakespeare. All three works shared a common theme of being honest with yourself.

“One Word” is about a woman named Liz who is struggling to feel like she fits in with the city of Rome. Her friend’s husband explains to her that if one word could describe the city it would be the word sex. Liz doesn’t exactly know what word she would use to describe herself and thus she doesn’t feel right in the city of Rome. However, one day she decides to go to a boutique where she buys a plethora of lingerie. If she doesn’t have any intentions of having sex as it isn’t the word that describes her right now, then why is she purchasing all of this? I believe that the city she has been in is starting to have an effect on her. It is changing the way she feels about herself. Liz almost feels as if she has to fit in with what the city around her stands for and this is what causes her to change. I believe that she should be honest with herself and do whatever she feels is right instead of letting the city around her effect her.

The first poem I read is called “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun” by William Shakespeare. This poem is in the form of a sonnet as it has fourteen lines with ten syllables in each line. In the poem Shakespeare is comparing aspects of his mistress to the sun and other things. The title alone represents the fact that his mistress‘ beauty cannot be compared to the beauty of naturalistic objects such as the sun. With lines like “Coral is far more red than her lips’ red” and “I have seen roses damasked red and white, but no such roses see I in her cheeks” Shakespeare is saying that his mistress’ beauty pales in comparison to the beauty that these aspects of nature have. Even though Shakespeare is honestly saying that his mistress fails to compare with the beauty of nature, towards the end of the poem he is more positive about her. In the last two lines, he states that although her features don’t compare to the sun or other naturalistic objects, their love is still rare and very strong.

The other poem by John Milton is called “When I consider how my light is spent”. In the poem, Milton is talking about his blindness. He speaks of a talent that he has which he cannot use due to his condition. (And that one talent which is death to hide, Lodged with me useless) His talent is his ability to see the world around him and write poems about what he sees. However, since he is blind this talent is rendered useless. He capitalizes the word “Patience” and I took from this that Milton is certain that if he waits something good will happen for him. He has accepted the fact that he is blind and now he can only hope for the best. Although he no longer has the ability to see he can still serve a purpose in the world. These three works all expressed that being honest with yourself and those around you is the best choice.

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