Paradise Lost

As much as I want to escape it,
Paradise lost begins with me.

No matter how many excuses “It’s not my fault because…”.
No matter how many comparisons “I’m not as bad as them!”
Paradise lost begins with me.

With every cutting, unhelpful word both spoken and thought.
With every time I rush by, too important to listen to you.

For all the times I put me first and push others down.
For all the times I choose to ignore compassion.

When I think I have all the answers.
When I use my words to pull down rather than to build up.

When I judge others more harshly than I judge myself.
When I look at what is external and not the heart.

As much as I want to hide it,
Paradise lost endures due to me.

When I think that I can fix all things.
When I think I have no need of others.
Paradise lost endures due to me.

When I exclaim “Look at what they get away with!”
When I want to help “sort out” others rather than starting with me.

When I think I can strike a bargain with God.
When I think that God is impressed with what I do for him.

When I think that I can do anything to restore my broken relationship with God.
When I think that perfection can share a space with me.

When I love because they first loved me.
When I love for what I can get in return.
Paradise lost endures due to me.

In truth, I can do nothing.
I am truly lost.
I was the one who walked away.
I am the one who closed the door.
Paradise is lost to me.


This poem came about as a result of the monthly poetry challenge instigated by a poetry group I go to. This month the challenge was to write a poem inspired by Milton’s Paradise Lost as we were going to have our meeting in the cottage in Chalfont St. Giles where the English poet & parliamentarian John Milton lived from 1665 to 1667.

As you know, I’m no English scholar so I thought it a good idea to read Milton’s Paradise Lost before trying to write anything of my own. Then I found out that it extends to 12 books! I did not have time to read them (and 17th century English requires quite a bit of concentration) so I looked into the themes around Paradise Lost and its companion piece Paradise Regained.

I then approached my version of Paradise Lost by looking at it from a far more personal angle; how we are all responsible for losing our own version of paradise by what we think and do on a daily basis.

However, this only tells half the story. I felt I had to write a version of Paradise Regained so this poem has had to stay in my notebook for a few weeks until I had written its companion piece. I plan to upload that on Easter Sunday for reasons that will become obvious once you read it – Paradise Regained

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One thought on “Paradise Lost

  1. Pingback: Paradise Regained | Icarus79, Poet

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