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ooooooooookay

PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:07 am
by EscapeVelocity
okay so yea....i already posted a topic on this...and ive gotten no help...if anybody noes the theme of 'on first looking into chapman's homer' pllllllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaasssssssseeeee help...im so lost...i have a project that has to be done tomorrow...and idk the theme....shhhhhhhhhooooooot!!!!!!!!!!



sooo PLEASE SOMEBODY HELP ME. IM SO CONFUSED!

PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 9:48 am
by Saturn
The basic 'theme' is Keats' admiration for both Chapman's version of Homer and thus, Homer himself.

Here's my own breakdown of the poem:

Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.


These lines describe how Keats has travelled in his imagination to places he has never been before, and can see them clearly with the great desriptive power of Chapman/Homer.

Oft on one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne;


These lines tell us that Keats had heard of Homer beforehand only by reputation and his desriptive powers were legendary.

Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:


Here Keats tells us that he never fully realized the wonder and beauty of Homer until he read it Chapman's translation.

Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He star'd at the Pacific - and all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise -
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.


Keats in the close of the poem describes that on reading Homer for the first time he feels like the great conquistador of Mexico, Fernando Cort├ęs who Keats felt saw new and wonderful things unimagined before; and in the same way Keats saw and experinced new feelings, thoughts and emotions on reading Homer.

I hope this helps you in some way.

Good luck :D

PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:05 pm
by dks
Remember, too, that it wasn't Cortez who discovered the Pacific--it was Balboa--this has become a subject of much lively debate with regard to Keats's sonnet. Some critics think it was a bad mistake on his part, others think it was left that way on purpose--to drive home the idea that Keats's had just discovered the 'sensation' of being dumb with wonder over poesy--that he has, for the first time, experienced a sort of blank amazement which will take him over--and he'll allow it to do so. In short, the technical details of such history don't matter in relation to the wonder of staring out over the peak and seeing what he sees.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:12 pm
by Malia
dks wrote:Remember, too, that it wasn't Cortez who discovered the Pacific--it was Balboa--this has become a subject of much lively debate with regard to Keats's sonnet. Some critics think it was a bad mistake on his part, others think it was left that way on purpose--to drive home the idea that Keats's had just discovered the 'sensation' of being dumb with wonder over poesy--that he has, for the first time, experienced a sort of blank amazement which will take him over--and he'll allow it to do so. In short, the technical details of such history don't matter in relation to the wonder of staring out over the peak and seeing what he sees.


I think he chose to say "Cortez" because it fit the metre of the poem! :lol:

PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:31 pm
by dks
But "Balboa" in contrast would only have been one syllable off--not enough to obliterate the sonnet's entire required meter. Plus, that's a big boner--a big historical misnomer--all just for meter's sake--I think if it was left on purpose it was done so for meaning's sake.

Just my opining...I'm an ant in the world of the giant critics... :wink:

PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 9:03 pm
by Saturn
dks wrote:
Just my opining...I'm an ant in the world of the giant critics... :wink:


Critics are overrated anyway...

If they know so much and are so superior why aren't we reading and criticising their poems? :roll:

I don't hold many critics in high-esteem.

I'd much rather read your poems dks than any self-righteous critic's over-zealous opinion on a superior artists work.

Critics are the parasites of literature that suck the life out of creativity.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 9:37 pm
by Malia
Saturn wrote:
dks wrote:
Just my opining...I'm an ant in the world of the giant critics... :wink:


Critics are overrated anyway...

If they know so much and are so superior why aren't we reading and criticising their poems? :roll:

I don't hold many critics in high-esteem.

I'd much rather read your poems dks than any self-righteous critic's over-zealous opinion on a superior artists work.

Critics are the parasites of literature that suck the life out of creativity.


Geez, Saturn. Critics aren't always *that* bad. Sure, some critical essays can be pretty far out, but I've also read some very good stuff--especially from Keatsians like Jack Stillinger. Of course, I believe in balance in all things--perhaps not the most creative way to think! :lol:

PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 10:10 pm
by Saturn
How many poems has Stillinger wrote?

Perhaps I'm being too harsh but I don't like being told what to think about a piece of art.

It's fine to illuminate meaning but to dictate meanings is another thing entirely - too many critics think THEY know exactly what an artist was thinking, and trying to express when all they can do is guess like the rest of us.

They will be forgotten like all critics, the name and work of Keats will not however.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 10:19 pm
by Malia
Saturn wrote:How many poems has Stillinger wrote?

Perhaps I'm being too harsh but I don't like being told what to think about a piece of art.

It's fine to illuminate meaning but to dictate meanings is another thing entirely - too many critics think THEY know exactly what an artist was thinking, and trying to express when all they can do is guess like the rest of us.

They will be forgotten like all critics, the name and work of Keats will not however.


Well, I think that brushing ALL critics off is potentially brushing of some great ideas about art. And you certainly don't have to be an artist in order to appreciate art or have a valid opinion about it (and in essence, these critics are only voicing their *opinions*. There's no law that says you have to agree with what a particular critic says). But to each his own, I guess :)

PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 10:50 pm
by Saturn
You're probably right there - I'm just jealous probably :roll:

PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 5:30 pm
by dks
I think you're both right. I agree with you Saturn about the critics--I mean Bush, Bloom, Greenblatt and Abrams and not the poets--it's what's inside the collections that counts--I've always said that--I'm famous for that statement around the English Dept. at St. Thomas, too. 8)

But...Malia, you have a point, too. Insufferable snobs though they may be, they do propel the work and they decode it, unlock the algebra that is Keats, Spenser, Milton, Marvel, Shakespeare, Byron, Shelley, Coleridge, Tennyson, Emerson, Thoreau...etc, etc...

They give us the theories to sink our own interpretations into...and that's necessary--plus, they are ridiculously over educated--Harvard, Oxford and the like--I think maybe that's why I get jealous... :shock: :lol: