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Mark Olival-Bartley studied applied linguistics at Hawaii Pacific University, attaining B.A. and M.A. degrees in Teaching English as a Second Language, and poetry at the City College of New York. He is now writing a dissertation on the sonnets of E. A. Robinson at LMU, where he tutors composition alongside editing flyers on poetry and style. His poems and translations have appeared in journals on both sides of the Atlantic. He is the resident poet at EcoHealth, where his science-themed verse is regularly featured, and a senior copyeditor at Review of International American Studies. He also teaches at Münchner Volkshochschule and leads the Amerikahaus Literaturkreis.

20151012

On First Looking into Chapman's Homer

by John Keats

Much have I travelled 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 Cortes when with eagle eyes
He stared at the Pacific—and all his men
  Looked at each other with a wild surmise—
  Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

Note:  A recitation can be heard here.

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