Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Well Read Poem

Jan 30, 2023

Welcome back to another season of the Well-Read Poem! In this series we will be reading six poems about writers, some of them well-known, some of them not as well known. Our aim in this season is to give listeners some insight into the lives, minds, and imaginations of authors long deceased, and some understanding of what they have meant to their fellow scribes.

Today's poem is “On First Looking into Chapman's Homer” by John Keats, written as an hommage to the great epics of Homer as translated by George Chapman. Poem begins at timestamp 5:44.

On First Looking into Chapman's Homer

by 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.