Friday, September 1, 2023

"On first looking into Chapman's Homer" by John Keats

[Image of Keats’ autograph manuscript of the poem from October 1816]

[Poem as published by Keats in 1817]

On first looking into Chapmans Homer.

Much have I travelld 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-browd 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 stard at the Pacific—and all his men
Lookd at each other with a wild surmise—
   Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

Source of the text - John Keats, Poems.  London: C & J Ollier, 1817, page 89.

TJB: Buzzed of Homer. This armchair-travel sonnet with a bold volta plays loose with facts & gorgeously conflates the notions of reading & travel.

No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me