On At Last Looking Into Chapman’s Homer
by Len Krisak (February 2015)
I’ve traveled little, but whatever realms
I’ve seen have shown a little less than gold
And goodly: elsewhere often underwhelms.
I mostly tend to read what I’ve been told
Are great demesnes—now, Chapman’s Iliad
And Odyssey. (God knows these couplets bowled
Him over—Keats—and face it: that’s not bad.
Fourteeners have been known to stop men cold.)
But as for planets swimming into kens,
Well, no—not one has robbed me of my breath,
Though some small comets blazoned what are men’s
Poor truths: “Then fell they to the works of death”
And thickly fallen in their armed chatoyance,
“More sweet to Vultures than their wives”: the Troyans.
Len Krisak has published in The London Magazine, The Oxonian Review, PN Review, Standpoint, Agni, The Antioch Review, The Sewanee Review, The Hudson Review, The Dark Horse, Agenda, The Hopkins Review, Commonweal, Literary Imagination, The Oxford Book of Poems on Classical Mythology, and others. His latest book is Virgil’s Eclogues, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010. Forthcoming: The Carmina of Catullus, Carcanet Press, 2015, Afterimage, Measure Press, 2014, Rilke: New Poems, Boydell & Brewer, 2015 and Ovid: The Amores and The Ars Amatoria, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.
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