Much have I traveled 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….
—John Keats, from “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer” (1816)
While members of the Merrimack English faculty pursue a wide range of teaching and research interests, we are all firmly committed to student learning and student expression. The English department is a literature-based department dedicated to opening up new worlds for our students through literary study. In the same way that Keats equates literary study with geographical mobility, the English Department faculty believes that, in a global community, the exploration of new worlds through literary studies is as relevant as ever. Just as Chapman’s English translation of Homer’s verse introduced nineteenth-century British poet John Keats, then only 21 years old, to a universe of previously unimagined wonders, Beowulf, Gulliver’s Travels, In Memoriam, King Lear, “Roger Malvin’s Burial,” Wide Sargasso Sea, “The Weary Blues,” and the many other texts that we teach introduce new worlds to our students. Our approach hopes to capture some of the excitement Keats describes, as he discovers wonderment in the “wide expanse” of literature. We are confident that our core values—paying attention to what students say and bringing our informed passion for reading and scholarship into the classroom—encourage students to encounter their own “realms of gold.” Read More >>