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Keats' popularity stems from his ability to engage the senses and take us away from our mundane lives to a better place. How far do you agree?

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Introduction

Nicola White Keats' popularity stems from his ability to engage the senses and take us away from our mundane lives to a better place. How far do you agree? Keats is universally known as a poet of the senses. His popularity emerged when he continued to explore the senses and the idea of discovery in a wide range of poems. He is able to communicate the idea of exploring destinations and using the senses, to his audience through two specific poems, 'On the Sea' and 'On first looking into Chapman's Homer.' In these two poems, he creates a transition from the octet to the sestet by using imagination and nature. Keats' incessant use of language referring to our senses allows the readers to relate to the situation within the poem, Keats wrote poems during the Romantic period of 1780 - 1850. He uses Romantic ideas to create an effect of moving onwards from a mundane life to a better place. 'On first looking into Chapman's Homer' was written in 1816 in the form of a Petrarchan sonnet. This sonnet was one of Keats' first poems. He was inspired to write this poem after stumbling upon the translation by George Chapman, 'The whole works of Homer.' Homer was in fact an ancient Greek poet who wrote 'The Iliad' and 'The Odyssey'. ...read more.

Middle

One can feel the wonder of the idea of looking up to the sky and discovering a new planet, Uranus. This poem would be best described as an intellectual and emotional voyage of literary discovery. The two poems, 'On first looking into Chapman's Homer' and 'On the Sea' have similarities as they are both Petrarchan sonnets written in the same time period, which focuses on the idea of traveling to some where different and the discovery of new locations. The idea of vast movement is brought upon the reader in both poems. Even though the settings are very different they are both able to captivate the reader's attention by creating an extensive transition from a standard reality to a fantasy world bursting with energy. For example, in 'On first looking into Chapman's Homer' Keats uses similes to explain Homer's discovery and his tone appears to be very enthusiastic when writing about Homer throughout the sestet. Both sonnets have a continuous reference to the senses. 'On the sea' refers to what you, hear, see and taste, "oh ye whose ears are dinned." 'On first looking at Chapman's Homer' refers to sight, touch and sound. The poems seem to value the senses such as, sight and sound more than smell. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows a change in nature, the oxymoron "gentle temper" is used to correspond with this. The idea of being removed from a quiet ordinary present on the shore to an exciting development under the sea is undeniably transporting us from our mundane state of lives to a better place. The sea enables change to occur. Keats use of the human senses was able to put a personal and realistic effect on these two poems. He creates the feeling of traveling to a different place from the octet to the sestet of the poem. The transition is always to a place you can appreciate more. Reference to nature is also used in 'On the Sea' and 'On first looking into Chapman's Homer' to help describe the locations. I agree with the statement, Keats' popularity stems from his ability to engage the senses and take us away from our mundane lives to a better place as Keats has the great ability to secure the transition and engage the reader. He was a very popular poet during the Romantic period as people felt they could communicate with his ideas. Strong use of the senses enables them to do this and you are able to relate with the situation in both of these poems, whether it is through the seas immense power or Homer's discoveries. The reader is given the ability to be removed from a mundane life in order to find a better place. ...read more.

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