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Essay on Man and Other Poems (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – June 16, 1994
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"Grasp the whole worlds of reason, life, and sense,
In one close system of benevolence:
Happier as kinder, in whate'er degree,
And height of bliss but height of charity."
Where "Essay on Man" expresses the rational principles of the Enlightenment, "The Rape of the Lock" exemplifies the love of the frivolous, the fashionable, and the feminine which gave such light and warmth to an era famed for its elevation of the intellect. The poem exemplifies the Rococo, that most playful of styles in literature; nowhere else in English lit does so much of the spirit of Boucher come through. Pope's verse swirls and sparkles in melodic luxuriance, his creamy couplets smooth and shapely as a woman's legs.
This compact edition also includes the "Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady", one of the most beautifully severe (and overlooked) poems in the language-- a rare triumph of Neo-Classical lyric. Here also are the famous "Essay on Criticism", the galloping satire of the "Epistle to Dr.Read more ›
But Pope was far more than just a technical wizard; he is at least as notable for intellectual depth. Indeed, only Percy Shelley and Thomas Hardy among English poets are even in his league for matching craft with philosophical vigor and other thought-provoking material. It is no coincidence that several of Pope's poems, including some of the most famous, have "Essay" in the title.Read more ›
This fine collection contains his most famous poems " The Rape of the Lock" and "The Essay on Man' and the reader can know through this work the best of Pope. But whether the best of Pope belongs in the same league with Shakespeare, Chaucer, Milton, Keats, Wordsworth, is another question.
PS I have just been rereading 'Essay on Man' and I think my previous remarks are somewhat wrongheaded. Pope 's thought is complex and ordered, and expressed with a beautiful facility of phrase. There are many memorable lines. I think I made the mistake of looking for Pope to be another kind of Poet, and not appreciating fully the kind of brilliant, intellectual, impersonal, philosophical Poet he is.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
a little knowledge is a dangerous thing: drink deep or taste not the Pierian spring! the finest mind of his age, alexander pope invented the elizabethan couplet and then used it to... Read morePublished on September 15, 2013 by Dave Greengaard
Nothing special - needed it for class.
Be detailed and specific. What would you have wanted to know before you purchased the product? Read more
I'm not a big poet but its got some really nice poems. I got it for the essay on man so the rest was just a bonus.Published on April 22, 2010 by Victor Bush