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Monday, April 29, 2019

Two Poets, Two Poems

On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer John Keats.—1795-1821.
 Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne:
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman 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 stared at the Pacific—and all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise—
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

 Wikipedia: On First Looking into Chapman's Homer is a sonnet written by the English Romantic poet John Keats (1795-1821) in October 1816. It tells of the author's astonishment while reading the works of the ancient Greek poet Homer as freely translated by the Elizabethan playwright George Chapman."

 Astonishment? I would say so. He was astonished, amazed, ravished and enraptured by the beauty of the vision before him. He was inspired, taken between wind and water, blown away. He was also only 21 years old when he wrote this poem, which quite takes my own breath away. He would be dead, probably of tuberculosis, just four years later. If you have not already you will come across this poem in the Arthur Ransome poem Swallows and Amazons. Poetry gives us the vocabulary to describe wonderful new discoveries to ourselves. It is another way of seeing.

 John Keats (1795-1821) was of humble birth, being the son of a London stablekeeper. He lived at the time of Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley, and Leigh Hunt, from all of whom he gathered inspiration. His years were few, and his fame did not come while he was living. He had a passion for beauty, which found expression in all his poetry. On account of failing health he went to Rome in 1820, where he died the year following. (Junior High School Literature, Elson and Keck)

 Ozymandias by Percy Bysse Shelley

 I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. . . .
Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains.
Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

 Shelley and Keats were friends, and Shelley grieved Keats untimely demise greatly.

 There may or may not have been a real statue just as Shelley described, but probably not. Attempts to identify it tend to fizzle out. It doesn't matter. See if somebody reads these aloud on youtube to give you a sense of how they should sound. Savour the sound, the rhythm, the way they feel in your mouth, the weight and impact of the words in your ears. Hold them in your heart and mind. Feel them. Picture in your mind the images the words convey.

$5.00- Education for All, vol 2- the Imagination (and more) issue!- transcript of the imagination talk from the AO Camp meeting, with additional material I had to cut to save time.  
 $5.00- Education for All, a new CM journal,   Feed Your Mind!  This issue contains several articles on handicrafts, outdoor play, nature study and science. See sidebar for purchasing options if you are in the Philippines.

 $3.00 Five Little Peppers and How They Grew Copywork (grades 2/3, carefully selected with an eye toward finely crafted sentences, lovely bits of writing pleasant to picture in the mind's eye, and practice in copying some of the mechanics of grammar and punctuation typically covered in these years.

  $3.00 Aesop's Fables Copywork for Year One!  Carefully selected with an eye toward well written sentences, memorable scenes, and some practice copying sentences that model the basics of capitalization and punctuation.   Suitable for use with children who have already mastered the strokes and letters for basic penmanship.

Picture Study!  Miguel Cabrera's beautiful, diverse families, painted in 18th century Mexico this package includes 9 downloadable prints along with directions for picture study and background information on the artist and his work. $5.00

Common Kitchen:  What's for lunch?  Isn't that a common problem in homeschooling families?  What to fix, what is quick, what is frugal, what is nourishing?  How can I accomplish all those things at once?  We homeschooled 7 children, and I was a homeschooling mom for 29 years on a single income.  I collected these recipes and snack ideas from all over the world.  These are real foods I used to feed my family, my godsons, and sometimes my grandkids.  Includes some cooking tips and suggestions for sides, and for a variety of substitutions.  I think every family will find something they can use here. $5.00

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