Poetry is the patterned arrangement of language which helps create rhythm through expressing and invoking certain emotions and feelings in a very strenuous way. Poems come in every size; their length isnt what matters. What really matters in a poem in the message its trying to convey. This message is usually hidden in the poem making it difficult for the reader to understand because poetrys language is quite indirect. I believe the essence of poetry is for one to be able to connect with the poet by comprehending and analyzing it thoroughly and then being able to relate back to it. In the poem On First Looking into Chapmans Homer, I believe Keats does a phenomenal job in capturing the essence of poetry through using literary techniques such as metaphors, allusion, and contrast.
Initially Keats start off his poem by introducing this long metaphor consisting of his exploration and discovery. He says hes traveled in the realms of gold/ and many goodly states and kingdoms/ round may western islands (Keats 4). These first few lines emphasize the variety of experiences that were brought. The realms of gold represent the idea of fascination and the desire to discover. Keats believes that literature encounters you to make experiences that are rich and unusual. His use of the word gold also alludes to the Spanish conquistador, Cortez: or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes/ he stared at the pacific. He feels like his experience was similar to Cortezs when he looked at the Pacific Ocean with astonishment. We see the metaphor or his exploration and discovery continue in lines 5-6: oft of one wide expanse had I been told/ that deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne. Keats reinforces the enormous influence Homer had through the phrase expanse, in order to show the vast intellect Homer possessed. The phrase deep-browed also refers to the intense thoughts he held.
Towards the end of the poem, we see a contrast between these lines: yet did I never breathe its pure serene/ till I heard Chaplain speak out bold and loudly. Here we see how hes truly been brought to life as he reads the translation of Chapman, which spoke to him bold and loudly. These phrases support how his liveliness from his experience was achieved. This contradicts pure and serene because the feeling he achieved was not so much relaxing, but more filled with enthusiasm. He felt more accomplished and prideful after this discovery. Although in a way his feeling could be described as serene because of his inner fulfillment.
In conclusion, I believe that this poem is a better encapsulation of the essence of poetry because it gives the readers this sensation of excitement that comes from them their discovery of a great poet or writer.