On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer

Other Sonnets of 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.



This sonnet written by John Keats in October 1816.


Structure of the poem:

Form – Petrarchan sonnet (Italian sonnet).  

Divided into an octave and a sestet.

A rhyme scheme – a-b-b-a-a-b-b-a-c-d-c-d-c-d.

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