Kirsty at Other Stories, who also writes for the OUP blog, is getting all excited about a piece by Philip Pullman on Milton and Paradise Lost. He writes about Milton’s political life, but especially, passionately, about the poetry:
He would be remembered still as a poet if he had been executed under the Restoration, and had never begun Paradise Lost. But in that great poem he found a theme and a metre that matched every fibre of his genius. From the magnificent opening showing the defeated rebel angels chained on the burning lake, through their plan to travel to the newly-created earth and seduce the ‘new race called Man’, to the superb psychological drama of Satan’s temptation of Eve and its consequences, to the sad but resolute music of the closing lines, Paradise Lost is unmatched. It is the greatest poem by England’s greatest public poet.
Here’s the link again.