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On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer

On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer


by John Keats

On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer Theme of Exploration

This one's sort of a no-brainer, given all the exploration imagery in "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer," but it also applies to a young John Keats who is trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life and trying to figure out what it would mean to be a poet. It's also about the exploration that everyone makes to discover something. We all have the impulse to find something new and share it with the world.

Questions About Exploration

  1. What is Keats looking for in all that searching in lines one through four? How do you know?
  2. If Keats already knew about Homer and had read his work, what qualities do you think he discovered in this new translation? 
  3. Based on this poem, do you think that Keats would ever stop exploring? Can you imagine a point where he actually finds what he's looking for? If so, what might that be? If not, why not?
  4. Think about astronomers and early explorers. What did it take to be a true "discoverer"? How can one be a true "discoverer" today?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Ego alert: We don't explore the universe casually; we are always looking to discover something about ourselves.

With art and with science, at some point there will be nothing left to explore. We will have discovered everything that's out there. And then what will we do for fun?

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