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On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer
by
John Keats


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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 star'd at the Pacific—and all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise—
Silent, upon a peak in Darien. 

This poem is in the public domain.

 

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John Keats (1795-1821) was an English Romantic poet. He lost both parents before the age of fifteen and was ultimately raised by his grandmother, who saw that John got a good education. He spent a number of years studying to be a surgeon, but began indulging his growing interest in literature by writing poetry. John's early published work received blistering criticism, in part because he had none of the social standing, wealth, or university connections deemed essential in literary circles, but he became friends with several leading poets of the day and began to build a network of supporters. John published only three books of poetry during his lifetime and garnered no significant fame during that time but, today, he is considered one of the world's great poets.

 

 


New comments are closed for now.
Dorcas:
Thanks. A good reminder of classics. I enjoyed going over words familiar which still conjure up the emotions, which do not seem to change.
Posted 11/27/2013 10:23 AM
tannerlynne:
I too like the classics mixed in... Thanks
Posted 11/07/2013 10:45 AM
peninsulapoet:
I love that you intersperse the classics with the contemporary. A masterpiece even if a few "facts" are wrong.
Posted 11/07/2013 09:46 AM


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