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On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer

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.

- John Keats

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Alina Gregorian holds an M.F.A. from The New School. Her poems have appeared in various publications including, Caketrain, Fou, Juked, Elimae, The Best American Poetry Blog, and Pax Americana. She is a recipient of the Academy of American Poets College Prize and is an editor of the poetry magazine Maggy. This is her blog: alinagregorian.blogspot.com.

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