One of Blake’s two final epics, Milton follows the titular hero in a journey of self-discovery and renewal. In the poem’s first “Book,” John Milton returns from heaven to the mortal world and unites with the imagination through the person of William Blake. Together, they set out to reconfigure the relationship between a living poet and a great predecessor. In the second and final book, Milton unites with his feminine aspect, Ololon, in progress towards the apocalyptic overcoming of divisions between the sexes, between the living and the dead, and between human consciousness and its alienated projections into the external world. This plot is integrated with expansive references and allusions that range from the Bible to Blake’s own life, particularly the difficult relationship with his patron William Hayley. Portions of The Four Zoas, Blake’s long manuscript poem, are repeated (often with little revision) in Milton. (Text from the William Blake Archive, with thanks.)

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mp3 pt1 Milton, read by Adriana Diaz-Enciso, pt.1

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