Helen Vendler…

I thought Helen Vendler’s analysis was actually quite useful. It was very good since she actually uses one of Keat’s poems, which I can relate to more than an unknown poem. She uses so many different types of analytical skills which is overwhelming, but if I focus on it one by one separately, seem to be very useful.

For someone like me, who is bad at analyzing poems, I think it’s a good start, and a way to get going when I’m stuck. I do think that we cannot solely depend on it though, every poem may not apply to Vendler’s method.

For “Looking Into Chapman’s Homer” specifically, I thought it was especially good how she looked at the poem’s structure from different angles. Like how the poem may be split, 4, 6, 4, or 4, 10 and so on. Although some of these separations may not really be the greatest fit to this poem, it s a good start, and I think it’s important to be open to different ideas.

Helen Vendler – Response

Helen Vendler analyzed “On first looking into Chapman’s Homer” and used it to explain how to analyze poems in general. I agree that her methods are a way to start analyzing poems but I think it’s difficult to generalize all poems to this method because poem has different things to offer. I thought it was interesting how she could divide the poem up in many different ways. (Rhyme, Topics, Meanings, etc…) The climax coincides with when the topic changes to Cortez standing at that peak.The dynamic curve that Vendler talks about can be used to find the rhythm of poems and see if there is similarities but doesn’t apply to every poem.

I also found out that poet’s believe reading another poet’s poetry is like knowing that person. This shows that when poet’s write poetry they put their personality into it. Keat’s compares his discovery of Homer to the discovery of islands and planets.

The change in rhythm of the last 4 lines is because of the discovery. There are 4 main analogies in this poem comparing the discovery of poetry and discovery of other things. Lastly, Vendler tells us to be careful in addressing the persona of the poem and separating it from the author but I find that contradictory to what she says previously about reading another poet’s poetry is like knowing them on a personal level.