To Homer: by John Keats - Analysis

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Standing aloof in giant ignorance,
Of thee I hear and of the Cyclades,
As one who sits ashore and longs perchance
To visit dolphin-coral in deep seas.
So thou wast blind;—but then the veil was rent,
For Jove uncurtain'd Heaven to let thee live,
And Neptune made for thee a spumy tent,
And Pan made sing for thee his forest-hive;
Aye on the shores of darkness there is light,
And precipices show untrodden green,
There is a budding morrow in midnight,
There is a triple sight in blindness keen;
Such seeing hadst thou, as it once befel
To Dian, Queen of Earth, and Heaven, and Hell.

Critical Analysis

      To Homer is a grand sonnet, justly famous for some of its exquisite lines, notably the line—“There is a budding—morrow in midnight”. Keats was introduced to Homer by Chapman, and he: never got over his love for that grand, blind of bard of Greece. We have indications of this in the first eight lines of the sonnet. The last six are “pervaded with a subtle philosophic perfume”. The light on the shores of darkness, the budding-morrow in midnight, the triple sight in blindness keen—these refer to the creative vision of the blind Homer, and yet have an element of the universal about them. The poem is a fine tribute to the poetic pre-eminence of Homer.

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