Alexander Pope

(21 May 1688 – 30 May 1744 / London / England)

An Essay on Criticism


Part I

INTRODUCTION. That it is as great a fault to judge ill as to write ill, and a more dangerous one to the public. That a true Taste is as rare to be found as a true Genius. That most men are born with some Taste, but spoiled by false education. The multitude of Critics, and causes of them. That we are to study our own Taste, and know the limits of it. Nature the best guide of judgment. Improved by Art and rules, which are but methodized Nature. Rules derived from the practice of the ancient poets. That therefore the ancients are necessary to be studied by a Critic, particularly Homer and Virgil. Of licenses, and the use of them by the ancients. Reverence due to the ancients, and praise of them.
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  • Ashish Dimri (2/9/2009 11:56:00 PM)

    Dear Poem hunter,
    Pope was far ahead of his peers.
    He rightly summarised the role of literary critics.
    It is sad to reckon that many self professed ''experts'' pretend to be experts, as a result, budding poets find themselves at odd.
    Literary criticism is not a play thing!
    In a nutshell, they must be made to read Alaxander pope and his remarkable work, before they can sermonise on poetic expressions!
    warm regards,
    yours,
    ashish dimri (Report) Reply

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