Certainly, the poem expresses the extreme benefits conferred on the individual by the practice of reading. This speaker has read a lot, and yet, when he first read Chapman’s translation of Homer’s Iliad, he says he felt that he had become “like some watcher of the skies / When a new planet swims into his ken” or like some great explorer, like “stout Cortez,” when he discovers a new land. The speaker is significantly affected by what he’s read, proving that reading can absolutely be a transformative process for an individual. It can make one feel that one can traverse space and time, going to new places and seeing peoples one has never glimpsed before and, perhaps, even learning more about oneself in the process of learning about the world in a new way. The poem also conveys the idea that, no matter how much one has read, no matter how educated and versed in various genres and plots, literature can still shock and surprise a person with its variety, meaning, and importance.