Abraham Sutzkever

(1913 - 2010 / Smorgon, Russian Empire)

Blind Milton


At forty-four
(My galloping age),
Perhaps at this very moment —
Milton went blind.
His words played
A trick on him:
Would he love blindly
A 'tree,' a 'dog,' a 'rain'?

Half a body on the sofa,
Head down to the floor,
He lay
Drunk on his own blood.
He sought in blood the floating suns,
To ignite black marblewords
In a strophe.

Until the blind Milton
Solved the riddle:
In his blood he found
His lost paradise.

At forty-four
I am struck
By seeing. Like a geyser, gush in me
The bloods of a generation.
Drunk on my seeing,
I will always see it
In my veins, the blind generation.
Till I find my lost hell — —

Submitted: Monday, July 21, 2014

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