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An Essay On Criticism [PDF / EPUB] An Essay On Criticism This scarce antiuarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original Due to its age it may contain imperfections such as marks notations marginalia and flawed pages Because we believe this work is cultu This scarce antiuarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original Due to its age it may contain imperfections such as marks notations marginalia and flawed pages Because we believe this work is culturally important we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting preserving and promoting the world's literature in affordable high uality modern editions that are true to the original work.


10 thoughts on “An Essay On Criticism

  1. says:

    Sometimes I grow the silly delusion that I might have the potential to be a writer As a curative I read this Lycidas and Hours of Idleness; then I recall that not only am I not a writer I am old


  2. says:

    Ahem It's kind of awkward trying to review a great poem about reviewing I have to reread everything I type and examine it for Pope's fiercely lambasted Follies I believe I shall confine my comments to this This is as true now as it was 301 years ago when it was published It both pleases and pains me to see that nothing has really changed since then It's like moving to a new school the names come and go but the faces remain the same I wish we still wrote and talked like this Why does modern language seem so inadeuate in comparison? I unfortunately observed that I am guilty of unjust criticism in several of my reviews I am going to go over them and update them eventually to reflect my penitence and desire to be a better criticFavorite lines2nd stanza last lines Authors are partial to their Wit 'tis true But are not Criticks to their Judgment too? Guilty on both counts 4th stanza lines 3 and 4 Some neither can for Wits nor Criticks passAs heavy Mules are neither Horse nor Ass12th stanza beginning with line 3 Musick resembles Poetry in eachAre nameless Graces which no Methods teachAnd which a Master Hand alone can reachGreat Wits sometimes may gloriously offendAnd rise to Faults true Criticks dare not mend;From vulgar Bounds with brave Disorder partAnd snatch a Grace beyond the Reach of ArtWhich without passing thro' the Judgment gainsThe Heart and all its End at once attainsBut tho' the Ancients thus their Rules invadeAs Kings dispense with Laws Themselves have madeModerns beware Or if you must offend Against the Precept ne'er transgress its End13th stanza lines 3 6 Some Figures monstrous and mis shap'd appearConsider'd singly or beheld too nearWhich but proportion'd to their Light or PlaceDue Distance reconciles to Form and Grace14th stanza lines 15 18 Oh may some Spark of your Celestial FireThe last the meanest of your Sons inspireThat on weak Wings from far pursues your Flights;Glows while he reads but trembles as he writes15th stanza beginning with line 5 For as in Bodies thus in Souls we findWhat wants in Blood and Spirits swelled with WindTrust not yourself; but your defects to knowMake use of ev'ry friend and ev'ry Foe16th stanza first lines A little Learning is a dang'rous Thing;Drink deep or taste not the Pierian springThere shallow Draughts intoxicate the BrainAnd drinking largely sobers us again17th stanza lines 13 and 14 'Tis not a lip or Eye we Beauty callBut the joint Force and full Result of all18th stanza first lines Whoever thinks a faultless Piece to seeThinks what ne'er was nor is nor e'er shall beIn ev'ry Work regard the Writer's EndSince none can compass than they intend21st stanza lines 9 12 True Wit is Nature to Advantage drestWhat oft was Thought but n'er so well ExprestSomething whose Truth convinc'd at Sight we findThat gives us back the Image of our Mind 22nd stanza lines 5 6 Words are like Leaves; and where they most abound Much Fruit of Sense beneath is rarely found24th stanza lines 3 4 Thus Wit like Faith by each Man is apply'dTo one small Sect and All are damn'd beside29th stanza lines 1 4 and 15 18 Some valuing those of their own Side or MindStill make themselves the measure of Mankind;Fondly we think we honour Merit then When we but praise Our selves in Other MenEnvy will Merit as its Shade pursueBut like a Shadow proves the Substance true;For envy'd Wit like Sol Eclips'd makes knownTh' opposing Body's Grossness not its own33rd stanza lines 1 4 and last lines But if in Noble Minds some Dregs remainNot yet purg'd off of Spleen and sow'r DisdainDischarge that Rage on Provoking CrimesNor fear a Dearth in these Flagitious TimesYet shun their Fault who Scandalously nice Will needs mistake an Author into Vice;All seems Infected that th'Infected spyAs all looks yellow to the Jaundic'd EyeSpot on Mr Popelink


  3. says:

    how prescient was Pope?did he foresee the heavy handed and ultimately uninspired contemporary po mo approach to lit crit?indeed Alexander Pope offers the most precise summation of post modernism availableSuch labored nothingsin so strange a styleamaze th' unlearnedand make the learned smile


  4. says:

    I had heard of this work by Pope before I read it I’ve always assumed it to be a lengthy wordy lecture about something though I wasn’t sure what it would be criticising Instead I discovered a lengthy poem mocking critics and bad poets In places he doesn’t hold back the contempt he feels for either I’m not sure how well this was received in his own time I found the content entertaining and funny though I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be and as a poem I liked it It’s about 30 odd pages and on Gutenberg there’s an intro and notesThe poem starts with 'Tis hard to say if greater want of skillAppear in writing or in judging illBut of the two less dangerous is the offenseTo tire our patience than mislead our senseSome few in that but numbers err in thisTen censure wrong for one who writes amissA fool might once himself alone exposeNow one in verse makes many in proseAnd later Thus critics of less judgment than capriceCurious not knowing not exact but niceForm short ideas and offend in artsAs most in manners by a love to parts Some to conceit alone their taste confineAnd glittering thoughts struck out at every line;Pleased with a work where nothing's just or fit;One glaring chaos and wild heap of witPoets like painters thus unskilled to traceThe naked nature and the living graceWith gold and jewels cover every partAnd hide with ornaments their want of art


  5. says:

    Well I actually enjoyed it probably because my real life is even crappier than an 18 century poem


  6. says:

    18th century English literature the Restoration is somewhat of an anomaly I’ve always considered it the dry spell in the canon with relatively few works that I’ve managed to read cover to cover the novels are gruesomely long and what’s worse often epistolary the poetry rigid and draws too much from the ancients and the drama just outdated humor To compensate and be less of an ignorant reader I’ve gone back to my bookshelves picked up the anthologies and paperbacks I read only cursorily for lit classes at uni and read a few works in my own pace over the course of the last 6 months or so Mostly I’ve been impressed and Pope’s An Essay on Criticism belongs to the better works – a fine funny erudite explication of literary criticism full of relevance for the modern critic of books Some judge of authors’ names not works and thenNor praise nor blame the writings but the menPope’s iambic pentameter is relentless – one of the rigid features of the time but here I think it achieves a pulse that carries the extended poem forwardHere he parodies cheap poetry by adapting his lines to fit the content And ten low words oft creep in one dull lineWhile they ring round the same unvaried chimesWith sure returns of still expected rhymes;Where’er you find “the cooling western breeze”In the next line it “whispers through the trees”;If crystal streams “with pleasing murmurs creep”The reader’s threatened not in vain with “sleep”;Then at the last and only couplet fraughtWith some unmeaning thing they call a thoughtA needless Alexandrine ends the songThat like a wounded snake drags its slow length alongUltimately Pope calls for a balanced critiue of literature not being too harsh but not too admiring either I was surprised by his leniency Whoever thinks a faultless piece to seeThinks what ne’er was nor is nor e’er shall beIn every work regard the writer’s endSince none can compass than they intend;And if the means be just the conduct trueApplause in spite of trivial faults is dueSo applauses to you Pope – this isn’t perfect and it didn’t amaze me but it surely entertained and gave food for thought a fine interim read between some bulkier 21st century novels


  7. says:

    This one is even delightful than The Rape Of The Lock It has the nuanced satire on the critics that foolishly reject and criticize every innovative endeavor by a poet So here is a little chastisement for those lost soul The poem has some excellent couplets and few very uotable verses that would make any conversation immaculately charming and elouent


  8. says:

    “A little learning is a dangerous thing”“Some praise at morning what they blame at night;But always think the last opinion right”


  9. says:

    Disclaimer So this is what I understood out if it presented as Tldr; Good critics translate the art for laymen and help artist improve Bad critics give negative reviews if they don't agree with the art and try to highlight negatives of art Rules were made by critics to judge art not for artists to follow while expressing themselves Great civilizations rise when artists are allowed freedom to express and are helped by good critics They fall when any Tom Dick and Harry can become a critic and starts shackling the artistic freedom Eg Rome's cycle of rise and fall 🤔I'll be the first to criticize my overly simple review This review doesn't do any justice to the beautiful metaphors and similes employed by the poet to weave his narrative and drive the point


  10. says:

    Pope published this masterpiece at age 23 I should read of him his later stuff I'd like to see ifhow his ideas of human nature evolved


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