By Pat Rogers
Prime literary historian and eighteenth-century professional Pat Rogers has lengthy been well-known as an expert on Alexander Pope. This e-book addresses the numerous points of the poet's international and paintings, proposing a considerable new essay on "Pope and the antiquarians" along significantly revised models of essays released in journals, which jointly hide such a lot of Pope's significant writing. Essays on Pope gathers for the 1st time the simplest paintings in this celebrated writer by means of one of many most popular critics, and is an integral source for students of eighteenth-century literature.
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Other poetic techniques, in other historical circumstances, have been designed to blur the divisions between separate units, to allow free movement back and forth among the constituent parts of the poem. But the entire aesthetic of Augustan England was ranged against such a practice - its entire ethic, too, one might almost say. The strength of eighteenth-century poetry at its best is that it is good at knowing the syntactic moment to leave. Pope's verse, above all, gains momentum and life from its refusal to merge one statement into another.
How easy ev'ry labour it pursues? How coming to the Poet ev'ry Muse? Not but we may exceed, some Holy time, Or tir'd in search of Truth, or search of Rhyme. Ill Health some just indulgence may engage, And more, the Sickness of long Life, Old-age: For fainting Age what cordial drop remains, If our intemp'rate Youth the Vessel drains? ), Essential Articles for the Study of Alexander Pope (London, 1964), p . 167. If the J a c o b e a n nightmare was that things would fall apart, the primal Augustan terror was that everything would merge.
P. I fain wou'd please you, if I knew with what: Tell me, which Knave is lawful Game, which not? (Epilogue to Satires, II, 13-27) But such cross-talk acts are only one of innumerable effects available to Pope. He can be high and sententious, obscene, skittish, tender, or whatever he pleases. (3) The form was, as it were, poetically neutral. It could carry sustained narrative or the most delicately chiselled epitaph. Pope was able to modulate in and out of the set genres without elaborate formal preparations - thus, Windsor-Forest incorporates a topographical poem, a political panegyric, an economic prophecy, a lyrical interlude, an Ovidian set-piece, and much else.
Essays on Pope by Pat Rogers