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Email this page Introduction Alexander Pope, a translator, poet, wit, amateur landscape gardener, and satirist, was born in London in He contracted tuberculosis of the bone when he was young, which disfigured his spine and purportedly only allowed him to grow to 4 feet, 6 inches.
Though he remained in ill health throughout his life, he was able to support himself as a translator and writer. As a Catholic at that time in Britain, he was ineligible for patronage, public office, or a position at a university. A sharp-penned satirist of public figures and their behavior, Pope had his supporters and detractors.
He was friends with Jonathan Swift, Dr. John Arbuthnot, and John Gay. Written in heroic couplets, the tone is straight-forward and conversational. It is a discussion of what good critics should do; however, in reading it one gleans much wisdom on the qualities poets should strive for in their own work.
He advocates looking at a whole piece of work, instead of being swayed by some of its showier or faulty parts: In his description of versification, his lines enact the effects of clumsy writing: Some few in that, but numbers err in this, Ten censure wrong for one who writes amiss; A fool might once himself alone expose, Now one in verse makes many more in prose.
Let such teach others who themselves excel, And censure freely who have written well. In search of wit these lose their common sense, And then turn critics in their own defence: All fools have still an itching to deride, And fain would be upon the laughing side.
One science only will one genius fit; So vast is art, so narrow human wit: Art from that fund each just supply provides, Works without show, and without pomp presides: These leave the sense, their learning to display, And those explain the meaning quite away.
Without all these at once before your eyes, Cavil you may, but never criticise. Learn hence for ancient rules a just esteem; To copy nature is to copy them. Music resembles poetry, in each Are nameless graces which no methods teach, And which a master-hand alone can reach.
Thus Pegasus, a nearer way to take, May boldly deviate from the common track. Great wits sometimes may gloriously offend, And rise to faults true critics dare not mend; From vulgar bounds with brave disorder part, And snatch a grace beyond the reach of art, Which, without passing through the judgment, gains The heart, and all its end at once attains.
The critic else proceeds without remorse, Seizes your fame, and puts his laws in force.
The American Empire. By Wade Frazier. Revised July Purpose and Disclaimer. Timeline. Introduction. The New World Before “Discovery,” and the First Contacts. The judger is called a critic.; To engage in criticism is to criticise (in British English – see American and British English spelling differences.); One specific item of criticism is called a criticism or critique.; Criticism is an evaluative or corrective exercise that can occur in any area of human life. The best opinions, comments and analysis from The Telegraph.
Those oft are stratagems which errors seem, Nor is it Homer nods, but we that dream. Whose honours with increase of ages grow, As streams roll down, enlarging as they flow! Nations unborn your mighty names shall sound, And worlds applaud that must not yet be found!
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, And drinking largely sobers us again. But in such lays as neither ebb, nor flow, Correctly cold, and regularly low, That shunning faults, one quiet tenour keep; We cannot blame indeed—but we may sleep.
Neglect the rules each verbal critic lays, For not to know such trifles, is a praise. Most critics, fond of some subservient art, Still make the whole depend upon a part: All which, exact to rule, were brought about, Were but a combat in the lists left out.
As shades more sweetly recommend the light, So modest plainness sets off sprightly wit. Others for language all their care express, And value books, as women men, for dress: Their praise is still—"the style is excellent": The sense, they humbly take upon content.The American Empire.
By Wade Frazier. Revised July Purpose and Disclaimer. Timeline. Introduction. The New World Before “Discovery,” and the First Contacts. The best opinions, comments and analysis from The Telegraph.
The HyperTexts English Poetry Timeline and Chronology English Literature Timeline and Chronology World Literature Timeline and Chronology This is a timeline of English poetry and literature, from the earliest Celtic, Gaelic, Druidic, Anglo-Roman, Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman works, to the present day.
Pope wrote “An Essay on Criticism” when he was 23; he was influenced by Quintillian, Aristotle, Horace’s Ars Poetica, and Nicolas Boileau’s L’Art Poëtique. Written in heroic couplets, the tone is straight-forward and conversational.
Looking back to classical examples detail from portrait of Alexander Pope. Photograph: Bettmann/Corbis This week's choice is an extract from Part Three of . Of course you shouldn’t tolerate the “intolerable” What I would advocate is trying to expand one’s definition of tolerable. Spending one’s effort in a fight, either political or a literal war, is not usually a good way to increase utility.