A Peek at Darien

One of my favourite poems has always been “On First Looking Into Chapman’s Homer” by John Keats. I’m intimately familiar with the subject matter of the first ten lines, as they deal with western isles sacred to Apollo in antiquity, but I was for a long time unsure about the final four lines, with the mentions of Cortez, the Pacific and Darien.

For the benefit of anyone else who may have shared my confusion, this Wikipedia entry explains about the error Keats made concerning Cortez and Balboa, but I was delighted to see this detailed feature on “Silent Darien” on the BBC news site, which I hope others will enjoy as much as I did.

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