On First Looking into Chapman's Homer

By John Keats 1795–1821 John Keats
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.

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Poet John Keats 1795–1821

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Subjects Seas, Rivers, & Streams, Activities, Nature, Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books, Travels & Journeys, Poetry & Poets

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Imagery, Allusion

 John  Keats

Biography

John Keats, who died at the age of twenty-five, had perhaps the most remarkable career of any English poet. He published only fifty-four poems, in three slim volumes and a few magazines. But at each point in his development he took on the challenges of a wide range of poetic forms from the sonnet, to the Spenserian romance, to the Miltonic epic, defining anew their possibilities with his own distinctive fusion of earnest energy, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Seas, Rivers, & Streams, Activities, Nature, Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books, Travels & Journeys, Poetry & Poets

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Imagery, Allusion

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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