The poems, “When I Consider How My Light is Spent” by John Milton and “Sad Steps” by Philip Larkin, provide a reflection of how individuals can utilize their lives, especially from their youthful period through into their old age. The poems highlight the lives of individuals during their youthfulness and their service to the creator. Some of the styles used by the poets to explain the relevance of the poems include imagery, metaphors, and language. These styles help in facilitating the messages that the poets present to the society using the poems. Therefore, the paper analyses and provides the theme of reflection of the poems, “When I Consider How My Light is Spent” by John Milton and “Sad Steps” by Philip Larkin.
Reflection about Early Life
The theme that the poems, “When I Consider How My Light is Spent” by John Milton and “Sad Steps” by Philip Larkin, presents include reflections on how the poets lived during their youthful stages. In his poem, Milton states that, “when I consider how my light is spent, ere half my days, in this dark world and wide” (par. 1). This statement depicts refection about how the poet spent the first half of his life. According to the poet, a considerable amount of time went to waste because of his situation during his youthful stage. To stress the point of his situation, the poet uses dark and wide world, an aspect that presents the time that the poet lived in oblivion. Thus, from the reflection, the poet considers the period that he spent dark world as waste.
Through the poem, “When I Consider How My Light is Spent” John Milton reflects how he utilized his life before going blind at the age of 45. According to the poet, life is a precious gift from the creator, and thus, people must use it in a productive way. In his reflections, Milton explains that God expects people to bear his mild yoke, which is a good service during their lifetime so that they can leave a good legacy (par. 1). In this view, the poet asserts that God expects people to use their lives in serving others in the society.
As a result, the poem is very relevant in conveying the message that life is important and individuals need to utilize it optimally since it is short. From the poem, John Milton uses words such as light to symbolize the time when he was young, energetic and could see to explain that it is vital for individuals to utilize their lives because God will judge everyone concerning what they did during their lifetime
On the other hand, the poem, “Sad Steps” by Philip Larkin also reflects on the importance of using one’s youth wisely and in a productive manner. Youth is one of the stages in life and once gone, no one can recover it back (Larkin par. 6). The reflection of the fact that youth is a stage that people go through once in life explains the necessity to maximize it wisely. Therefore, through the poem, the poet informs the young people that they need to utilize their youthfulness wisely. Moreover, the poet reflects about other people, who are still young and have undiminished energy, and thus advises them to utilize their formative years effectively. The poet explains that everyone in the society goes through the period of youthfulness, which is very significant as God bestows vibrant lives to people.
The poem, “Sad Steps” by Philip Larkin also reflects about the essence of optimizing youthfulness. According to Philip, life is a one way journey and needs care and wisdom since once individuals pass through a certain stage, they cannot recover the spent period. In the poem, Philip Larkin reflects about the moon, the four o’clock wind, and the clouds, which remind him of the events of his lifetime and the fact that he cannot recover the time spent in his lifetime. Statements such as “Is a reminder of the strength and pain of being young; that it can’t come again” demonstrate the fact that human life is a one-way journey (Larkin par. 6). Therefore, Philip Larkin uses his poem, “Sad Steps” to reflect on his actions during the early stages of life and relays a message to the society concerning the benefits that accrue from the diligent use of one’s youthfulness in life.
The poems, “When I Consider How My Light is Spent” by John Milton and “Sad Steps” by Philip Larkin provide a reflection of how the poets imagine about their youthful stages of life. In the poem “When I Consider How MY Light Is Spent,” John Milton explains that God grants everybody with the gift of life and the role of people is to ensure that they use the gift wisely and productively. Furthermore, John Milton states that it is important for individuals to utilize their lives optimally since uncertainties can hinder them from achieving their goals and dreams.
On the other hand, Philip Larking uses the poem, “Sad Steps,” to explain the fact that human life is a one-way journey and once individuals pass through a certain stage in life, they cannot return. Therefore, the poems offer reflections about the importance of youthfulness and thus are very important in the study of human life and the benefits that accrue from the youthfulness.
Larkin, Philip. “Sad Steps.” Poetry Foundation. 2014. Web.
Milton, John. “When I Consider How My Light is Spent.” Poetry Foundation. 2014. Web.