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Selected Poetry

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  179 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Though critical opinion on Alexander Pope has frequently been divided, he is now regarded as the most important poet of the early eighteenth century. An invalid from infancy, he devoted his energies towards literature and achieved remarkable success with his first published work at the age of twenty-one. A succession of brilliant poems followed, including An Essay on ...more
Paperback, Oxford World's Classics
Published August 20th 1998 by Oxford University Press (first published June 1st 1954)
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Jun 29, 2014 GONZA rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd;
Labour and rest, that equal periods keep;
"Obedient slumbers that can wake and weep;"
Desires compos'd, affections ever ev'n,
Tears that delight, and sighs that waft to Heav'n.
Grace shines around her with serenest beams,
And whisp'ring angels prompt her golden dreams.
For her th' unfading rose of Eden blooms,
And wings of sera
Markus Whittaker
Sep 20, 2011 Markus Whittaker rated it liked it
Rhyming couplets shit me to tears. The stilted nature of much of Pope's poetry, the forced rhyme, the incessantly repetitive metre - it lack imagination by todays standards. But one can't judge these works by todays standards, Pope was clever, sublime, and incredibly perceptive for his time. There are some eloquent phrases, and some eloquent verses. Not my cup of tea, but I am a big believer in trying everything once.

The notations and footnoting were a bloody shambles as well.
Feb 08, 2011 Katie rated it liked it
Rape of the Lock = awesome. Funny, charming, and very, very witty. Justifies everything wonderful that has ever been said about Pope. Essay on Criticism = awful. Snotty, hypocritical, poorly written, and infuriating. Justifies everything horrible that has ever been said about Pope. After an Essay on Criticism I was too afraid to read the rest of the book - apparently Pope has multiple personalities and I didn't want to encounter the megalomaniac side again.
Sep 15, 2015 Hayden rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015, university
I'm not a fan of poetry but I have to read this for university so I decided to suck it up and have a go. The Rape Of The Lock and Eloisa and Abelard were brilliant, but honestly I didn't really understand the rest. A lot of Pope's poems satirise prominent members of the time so most of the references went completely over my head. But I'm actually looking forward to studying it to actually understand the poems and maybe even enjoy them a lot more.
Oct 19, 2013 Robyn rated it liked it
I love the density of this poetry and I dig a lot of his critiques. I like when I see Milton peeking through. And I especially like how important Pope makes the role of the critic. But I have the hardest time knowing what the hell is going on, for like the first five stanzas or so. Where are we? Who the hell are you talking to? Too much ceremony, apostrophe? I don't know. And I read for a living.
I like Pope well enough, but I have a special fondness for him for one odd reason - a former mentor of mine, Dr. Suter, read some of my poetry and wrote to some of her colleages about how much my verse adaptations of ancient poetry resembled Pope. I've never forgotten the compliment.
Rachel Brand
Oct 01, 2010 Rachel Brand rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, en1004, 2010, poetry
Read for:
EN1004: Explorers and Revolutionaries - Literature 1680-1830

Technically I only read "The Rape of the Lock." It was interesting enough, after I went to the lectures and understood it better, but it's difficult to grasp if you don't know much about the texts he's parodying. 7/10
Michael Arnold
Sep 01, 2016 Michael Arnold rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I love Pope, but I think that there will be a better selection of his poems out there. This is more like a taster, or an introduction to him I think. It even feels incomplete - somehow.
M.I. Lastman
Jan 27, 2015 M.I. Lastman rated it it was amazing
After Shakespeare, Pope is surely the most influential writer in the English language, he is also the funniest.
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  • Poetical Works
  • Selected Poems
  • The Shorter Poems
  • John Milton: The Major Works
  • Harvest Poems: 1910-1960
  • The Complete Poems
  • Poems in Two Volumes, Volume 1
  • The Poems of Exile: Tristia and the Black Sea Letters
  • Selected Poems
  • New Selected Poems
  • Selected Poetry (Poetry Library)
  • Poetry of the Thirties
  • The Riverside Milton
  • The Classic Hundred Poems: All-Time Favorites
  • The Ancient Track: The Complete Poetical Works
  • Selected Poems
  • The Major Works
  • The Poems Of Wilfred Owen
Alexander Pope is generally regarded as the greatest English poet of the eighteenth century, best known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer. He is the third most frequently quoted writer in the English language, after Shakespeare and Tennyson. Pope was a master of the heroic couplet.
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