John Keats: “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer”

A poem with “paths” into more poetry, Antiquity,  the Renaissance, and  the exploration of the New World:

The English poet John Keats (1795–1821)  wrote the poem “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer” :
Keats was reading a translation by an Elizabethan playwright, George Chapman, of the works of the ancient Greek poet Homer.

Keats writes vividly and imaginatively, within his poem, of his feelings, like that of a new discovery:

“Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;…”
from
“On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer”
by English poet John Keats (1795–1821)

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“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-browed 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.”