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The Poems of Alexander Pope by Alexander…
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The Poems of Alexander Pope

by Alexander Pope

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» See also 12 mentions

One of his greatest though of his earliest works is the Essay on Criticism, which if he had written nothing else would have placed him among the first criticks and the first poets, as it exhibits every mode of excellence that can embellish or dignify didactick composition, selection of matter, novelty of arrangement, justness of precept, splendour of illustration, and propriety of digression. I know not whether it be pleasing to consider that he produced this piece at twenty, and never afterwards excelled it: he that delights himself with observing that such powers may be so soon attained, cannot but grieve to think that life was ever after at a stand…

To the praises which have been accumulated on The Rape of the Lock by readers of every class, from the critick to the waiting-maid, it is difficult to make any addition…

I suppose many readers of the English Iliad, when they have been touched with some unexpected beauty of the lighter kind, have tried to enjoy it in the original, where, alas! it was not to be found. Homer doubtless owes to his translator many Ovidian graces not exactly suitable to his character; but to have added can be no great crime if nothing be taken away. Elegance is surely to be desired if it be not gained at the expence of dignity. A hero would wish to be loved as well as to be reverenced…

Pope had, in proportions very nicely adjusted to each other, all the qualities that constitute genius. He had Invention, by which new trains of events are formed and new scenes of imagery displayed, as in The Rape of the Lock, and by which extrinsick and adventitious embellishments and illustrations are connected with a known subject, as in theEssay on Criticism; he had Imagination, which strongly impresses on the writer's mind and enables him to convey to the reader the various forms of nature, incidents of life, and energies of passion, as in his Eloisa, Windsor Forest, and the Ethick Epistles; he had Judgement, which selects from life or nature what the present purpose requires, and, by separating the essence of things from its concomitants, often makes the representation more powerful than the reality; and he had colours of language always before him ready to decorate his matter with every grace of elegant expression, as when he accommodates his diction to the wonderful multiplicity of Homer's sentiments and descriptions…

After all this it is surely superfluous to answer the question that has once been asked, Whether Pope was a poet? otherwise than by asking in return, If Pope be not a poet, where is poetry to be found? –Johnson, in Lives of the Poets
3 vote SamuelJohnsonLibrary | May 5, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (35 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pope, Alexanderprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Johnson, SamuelEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warburton, WilliamEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0300000308, Paperback)

A splendid presentation of Pope’s poems, excluding only his translations of Homer, this is the only one-volume edition that can lay claim to completeness and accuracy of text. It presents the corpus of Pope’s poetry as printed in the highly praised Twickenham Edition, except for the 1712 version of The Rape of the Lock and other early versions of phrases preserved in the critical apparatus of the six-volume work. Pope’s own notes to his poems are included, as well as a generous selection of the copious annotation in the Twickenham text. This reduced version of the unsurpassed standard edition of Pope will be of great value to all students and teachers of English literature. John Butt, Regius Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature at Edinburgh University, is general editor of the Twickenham Edition.
 
"The publishers are surely right in claiming that 'this should for long remain the standard one-volume edition of Pope's poems.' The Twichenham edition . . . has been a splendid achievement, and Professor Butt's distillation of the long labours of his fellow-editors is most commendable."—Times Literary Supplement.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:13 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Eleven previously published critical essays on the works of the satirical eighteenth-century English poet.

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