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The Body as Billboard


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The Body as Billboard

Anthony Esolen - SEPTEMBER 08, 2016


The blind poet Milton, praying for divine inspiration, tells us what he misses most since losing his sight:


Thus with the year

Seasons return, but not to me returns

Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn,

Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer’s rose,

Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine.


The things of beauty build to a climax, the human face divine, the most glorious thing in all of physical creation, if we have eyes to see and a heart to love. The noun is bracketed between the adjectives human and divine, as is proper, because man has been made in the image and likeness of God. If we know what is most human, we will see a reflection of the divine. So when Satan sees Adam and Eve for the first time, his eyes are drawn to the locus of their greatest beauty and glory:

Two of far nobler shape erect and tall,


Godlike erect, with native honor clad

In naked majesty seemed lords of all,

And worthy seemed: for in their looks divine

The glorious image of their Maker shone:

Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe and pure. Scissors-32x32.png



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