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"It is easy to see what has happened.
The unfortunate reader has set out expecting 'good lines' -
little, ebullient patches of light - such as he is accustomed to find in lyrics, and has thought he was finding them in things that took his fancy for accidental reasons during the first five minutes. After that, finding that the poem cannot really be read in this way, he has given it up. Of the continuity of a long narrative poem, the subordination of the line to the paragraph and the paragraph to the book and even of the Book to the whole, of the grand sweeping effects that take a quarter of an hour to develop themselves, he has had no conception."
C.S. Lewis from "A Preface to Paradise Lost"