No one seems yet to have appreciated that what is the earliest Latin verse of the New World is also its earliest extant verse by any visitor from the Old World. Furthermore, no one has paid any attention to the very poems themselves.
The poet was Alessandro Geraldini (ca. 1455-1524), Italian humanist, diplomat, and churchman. A native of Umbria, Geraldini went to school in Italy, but later left for Spain with his older brother, Antonio, the two bringing with them, like their famous contemporaries Peter Martyr and Marineus Siculus, the influence of the new learning of the Renaissance. At the age of twenty-one, Alessandro served under Ferdinand and Isabella as the Castilians defeated the Portuguese at Toro. He became cupbearer to Isabella, and traveled with Antonio, when the latter was secretary to John II of Aragon, on visits to Francis II, Duke of Brittany, and to Edward IV of England.