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"On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer".

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COMMENTARY ON "On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer" This poem is an expression of how the poet John Keats felt after rediscovering Homer's "The Odyssey and the Iliad" when he read Chapman's English translation of this Greek classic. To express this he uses the form of a sonnet, with fourteen lines, every set of two lines rhyming. The first four lines are one long sentence consisting mainly as metaphors to summarize his full meaning in whole. "Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold, and many goodly states and kingdoms seen". This can be understood only in a "literary" and not a "literal" sense. I say this because he was relatively poor and probably had traveled very little when he wrote this poem at age 21.* But we know that he had a strong passion for literature. ...read more.


(probably because he never learned Greek) * Perhaps Keats is stating Homer's deep intellect with the term "deep-brow'd". "Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold: Then felt I like some watcher of the skies When a new planet swims into his ken;" Even though this is mid-sentence, I see this, as the pivotal point of the poem, where Keats starts to express his emotions towards Chapman's version of Homer's 'The Odyssey and the Iliad'. Keats expresses his encounter with Homer's Odyssey as powerful and impacting. He compares it to an Astrologer as a 'watcher of the skies', because for an astrologer to see a planet just come into existence and their impact on destiny is just amazing and powerful. ...read more.


The main reason that I enjoyed this poem is the way he cause me to read into it more and investigate what he was talking about until I understood it in full. The poem made me want to read Chapman's version of Homer's 'The Odyssey and the Iliad' I loved the way he made the poem flow and rhyme, you could just see that he has such a creative mind. He makes the poem relevant to us and how beautiful and wonderful it is to find something that really inspires us and changes us and causes us to rise above our ordinary lives. I have a suspicion that John Keats may have been paid by Chapman's publishers :) Footnotes: * The Oxford Companion to English Literature Page 443, 444 # Ibid Page 216, 217 "The Darien Scheme" by Michael Hilsden English ...read more.

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