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Meter in On His Blindness

Meter Examples in On His Blindness:

Text of the Poem

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"Lodg'd with me useless..."   (Text of the Poem)

This is the only line in the poem that breaks iambic pentameter. “Lodg’d” is stressed instead of “with,” forming a trochee. This deviation from the poem’s meter underscores the meaning of the line. His “one talent,” writing, becomes “useless” when it resides in him.

"Lodg'd with me useless..."   (Text of the Poem)

This is one of the few lines in the sonnet in which Milton breaks from perfect iambic meter. The first four words are intended to be read with stress on "Lodg'd" and then on "use" in "useless." This emphasis is appropriate since the words are intended to sound like a cry of anguish in an otherwise uniformly tranquil and metrically regular poem betokening Milton's "Patience" and his conviction, as expressed in the beautiful concluding line, that "They also serve who only stand and wait."

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