Thursday, February 10, 2011


I've been trying to restore order to my life by restoring order to my room, which entails clearing off the layers of paper from my desk and making all the books stand up instead of slouching everywhere. One of the papers had, amidst a bunch of messy syntax trees from when I was tutoring last semester, a quotation that I wanted to preserve. For your enjoyment and my future ease of finding, here it is:
make it possible to bear sorrow,
make evil intelligible,
make justice desirable,
make love possible.
My thesis professor cited this in class during a lecture last semester. (He mentioned the original speaker as a colleague whose name sounded something like Rosenblatt but whom I can't really identify, so... Original author, please don't be offended or feel plagiarized. I just want to remember what you said and share your insight with ten or so people who read this blog.) My professor applied these claims to Paradise Lost, saying the poem aims to make it possible to bear the sorrow of the Fall, to make Satan's evil intelligible (a task at which it is perhaps even too successful), to make the justice of God's intention desirable, and to make the love between Adam and Eve seem possible.

I don't want to be Milton, but I hope I can be this kind of writer.

1 comment:

sarawr said...

that is a wonderful quote.