John Milton – “Paradise Lost” Book 7 (ctd.)

The Son (who is now acting as God’s Word) tells the troubled waves of chaos to be silent, foreshadowing the words he is going to use in Mark 4:39. Then he takes a pair of golden compasses and draws a circumference which is going to be the circumference of the future universe. What follows is the poetic version of the book of Genesis: God first creates light, which arrives from the east in the form of a cloud, because there are no sun or stars yet where it could be located. He separates darkness from light and thus the first day and night take place. Then he creates the firmaments and it’s only now when I started to question the logic of this description: the firmament is supposed to separate the water above from the water under, but that implies the universe is surrounded by water, as Milton himself claims. But then, when he described Satan wandering through space, he didn’t describe him as swimming. Then he creates the earth, which is at this point all warm and gooey, and then he separates the water from dry land, and the waters are in such a hurry to do their master’s bidding they are like armies rushing to gather under their standard. After that, God orders the earth to produce plants and the earth is immediately covered with all sorts of plant. This is the end of the third day.

Yes, I know it’s Urizen (I am going to reach William Blake in like five years). But the image still works.



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