of authors' names, not works, and then Nor praise nor blame the writings, but the men. But as the slightest sketch, if justly trac'd, Is by ill colouring but the more disgrac'd, So by false learning is good sense defac'd; Some are bewilder'd in the maze of schools, And some made coxcombs Nature meant but fools. See Dionysius Homer's thoughts refine, And call new beauties forth from ev'ry line! Alexander Pope's Essay on Criticism is an ambitious work of art written in heroic couplet. Avoid extremes; and shun the fault of such, Who still are pleas'd too little or too much. What crowds of these, impenitently bold, In sounds and jingling syllables grown old, Still run on poets, in a raging vein, Ev'n to the dregs and squeezings of the brain, Strain out the last dull droppings of their sense, And rhyme with all the rage. In poets as true genius is but rare, True taste as seldom is the critic's share; Both must alike from Heav'n derive their light, These born to judge, as well as those to write. The metaphor of the spinning-top implies that a whipping will simply keep them going. Name a new play, and he's the poet's friend, Nay show'd his faultsbut when would poets mend? Each Muse, in Leo's golden days, Starts from her trance, and trims her wither'd bays!
One of the Essay s famous cruxes3 suggests the na ture of Pope s poetic intent: Some to whom Heav n in Wit has been profuse.
An Essay on Criticism, didactic poem in heroic couplets by Alexander Pope, first.
That good taste derives from Nature and that critics should imitate the ancient.
Pope s Essay on Criticism is a didactic poem in heroic couplets, b egun.
Be natural or written according to predetermined artificial rules inherited from the.
Essay on criticism pope nature
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His tongue is in his cheek, as it turns out: "For who can rail as long as they can write?" Although he takes the view that bad critics are more culpable than bad poets, Pope enjoys a sustained dig at the poet-bores who. Although the work treats literary criticism in particular and thus relies heavily upon ancient authors as type masters, Pope still extends this criticism to general judgment about all walks of life. When first young Maro in his boundless mind A work t' outlast immortal Rome design'd, Perhaps he seem'd above the critic's law, And but from Nature's fountains scorn'd to draw: But when t' examine ev'ry part he came, Nature and Homer were, he found, the. Published in 1711, this poetic essay was a venture to identify and define his own role as a poet and a critic. What crowds of these, impenitently bold, In sounds and jingling syllables grown old, Still run on poets, in a raging vein, Even to the dregs and squeezings of the brain, Strain out the last, dull droppings of their sense, And rhyme with all the rage. Which are equally important to critics too. Once on a time, La Mancha's knight, they say, A certain bard encount'ring on the way, Discours'd in terms as just, with looks as sage, As e'er could Dennis of the Grecian stage; Concluding all were desp'rate sots and fools, Who durst depart from Aristotle's. Oft, leaving what is natural and fit, The current folly proves the ready wit; And authors think their reputation safe Which lives as long as fools are pleased to laugh. Before his sacred name flies every fault, And each exalted stanza teems with thought! Some praise at morning what they blame at night; But always think the last opinion right. Hear how learn'd Greece her useful rules indites, When to repress, and when indulge our flights: High on Parnassus' top her sons she show'd, And pointed out those arduous paths they trod; Held from afar, aloft, th' immortal prize, And urg'd the rest by equal.