Comparison Between John Keats and Charles Simic's Poems

Comparison and contrast of two poetic exemplifications of aesthetic theories: John Keats' "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer" and Charles Simic's "Stone"

In both of these poems, one written during the Romantic era of English letters, the other a modern expression of poetic and personal development as mirrored in the natural world, the central conflict is thus-how can the poet apprehend and appreciate what is beautiful outside himself? What kind of beauty enriches human life and expression and how is this achieved?
In Keats' sonnet, "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer," the act of reading a translation of Homer liberates the poet from his previous ignorance of the language of ...

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gazing the response of animal and aquatic life to a stone, reveals the nature of the poet to himself and the beauty of the stone. However, beauty of the stone's true inner life is essentially unrevealed by the poem's texture itself, as the poet can never really quite read its inner texture, or know why sparks fly from it.
Keats' poem was published in 1816, while Simic's work dates to 1971. One important aspect to remember when reading Keats' poem "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer" is the ubiquity of Classical education during this period of Victorian literature. The fact that Keats' most famous poem is his "Ode to a Grecian Urn" makes his poem on the text of Homer no a great surprise. Yet Keats was not a product of the elite system of education that helped produce his Romantic contemporaries Byron and Shelly. Rather, Keats' praise of Chapman's Homer is rooted in his delight that an Englishman has made the formerly enclosed world of Greek letters open to the eyes of ...

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who are not 'fluent' in his archaic language, a language usually that was accessible in England to men of a certain class, education, level of literacy, and status. Before Chapman, translations existed, but very poor translations that only imperfectly captured the beauty of the ancient Greek language for an aspiring poet in the tradition of Homer and Shakespeare.
When Keats "...heard Chapman [the translator of Homer] speak out loud and bold:/ 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..." In other words, through apt translation, through the keen eye and words of another ...

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Comparison Between John Keats and Charles Simic's Poems. (2016, April 11). Retrieved March 25, 2019, from
"Comparison Between John Keats and Charles Simic's Poems.", 11 Apr. 2016. Web. 25 Mar. 2019. <>
"Comparison Between John Keats and Charles Simic's Poems." April 11, 2016. Accessed March 25, 2019.
"Comparison Between John Keats and Charles Simic's Poems." April 11, 2016. Accessed March 25, 2019.
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Added: 4/11/2016 05:23:53 AM
Category: Poetry & Poets
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1781
Pages: 7

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