On First Looking into Chapman s Homer

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Chapman’s Homer

Illustrated “Favorite Poet” by Alma Tadema.

Keats was so moved by the power and aliveness of Chapman’s translation of Homer that he wrote this sonnet–after spending all night reading Homer with a friend. The poem expresses the intensity of Keats’s experience; it also reveals how passionately he cared about poetry. To communicate how profoundly the revelation of Homer’s genius affected him, Keats uses imagery of exploration and discovery. In a sense, the reading experience itself becomes a Homeric voyage, both for the poet and the reader.

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