Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Essay on Man and Other Poems” as Want to Read:
Essay on Man and Other Poems
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Essay on Man and Other Poems

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  725 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Considered the preeminent verse satirist in English, Alexander Pope (1688-1744) brought wide learning, devastating wit and masterly technique to his poems. Models of clarity and control, they exemplified the classical poetics of the Augustan age.
This volume contains a rich selection of Pope's work, including such well-known poems as the title selection — a philosophical me
Paperback, 112 pages
Published June 16th 1994 by Dover Publications (first published 1969)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Essay on Man and Other Poems, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Essay on Man and Other Poems

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  725 ratings  ·  25 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Alex Kartelias
Before I began reading these poems, I thought these would be just typical satires of the monarchy and filled with aristocratic 'wit'. But far beyond my expectations, these poems took me by surprise. His, "Essay on Man" is a deep meditation of big questions and because it is told through verse, it makes reading it not only profound, but entertaining. I was particularly in love with his poem, "Rape of the Lock". At times it was silly but it was also filled with beautiful descriptions and metaphors ...more
Ruthie Jones
Jun 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
From this book, I needed to read the following poems for my MA Comprehensive Exam: "An Essay on Criticism," "Essay on Man," "The Rape of the Lock," and "Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot."

Of these four, I had already read parts of "Essay on Man" in an anthology and "The Rape of the Lock."

I am thoroughly impressed with everything I have read of Pope's writing so far, and I look forward to reading more. His poems inspire thought and reflection, and the topics are still relevant today.
Dania Sakka
Jun 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
i loved the way he describes nature, universe and humans
Apr 30, 2012 rated it liked it
"Essay on Man" has been my fav by Pope so far.
Jan 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, classic, essays
This little volume reveals the strengths and weaknesses of the Dover Thrift Editions series. The strength of the series boils down to making classic works of poetry and literature accessible in monetary terms; you can buy five classics in the series for $5 to $10. The weakness is that you get very little explanatory text, context, commentary, or footnotes to help make the works accessible in intellectual and artistic terms. In this particular case, several of the poems, "The Rape of the Lock" fi ...more
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Pope has a fascinating way of describing the human mindset as well as tackling those things as well as people, culture, society, our education, how we interact with others, religion, as well as lots of other things and 'attacks' them in a satirical way that makes one truly think about these subjects. And on top of these, Pope does it through poem (with occasional rhyming), rather than through prose like Orwell or Vonnegut (or like through visual media like modern satirists - South Park, Rick and ...more
Antonio Gallo
Tra terremoti, bombe e alluvioni, da noi come nel mondo, la natura resta sempre un mistero da scoprire momento dopo momento, giorno dopo giorno, stagione dopo stagione. Natura come tale e natura degli uomini. Oggetto di studio, osservazione e contemplazione nel corso dei secoli non smette mai di sorprendere, ingannare, illudere, tradire e confortare. Gli uomini sembrano che abbiano perso il contatto con quella realtà dalla quale tutto proviene ed appartiene, non escluso l’Uomo stesso. Il brano p ...more
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature, poetry
Great verse by a truly great man.
Shrey Goyal
Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The work is beautifully written. However, the ideas were rather difficult to swallow, with the focus being on the natural order God has decreed for man. The idea that man has somehow been corrupted by science, and that man must accept God's actions with no right to complain (Whatever IS, is RIGHT) is similarly an impediment to enjoying the work. Do read Candide to witness Voltaire trash Pope's optimistic philosophy with wit and humour.
Tse Guang
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Pope's neoclassicism may be outdated, but within the confines of the Great Chain of Being and the rhyming couplet he forges an unmistakable style. There are moments in 'Rape of the Lock' that are incredibly funny, once you get past the anarchisms in the language. Pope is a must-read for any serious student of literature.
Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I was of an impressionable age, when a local legendary high school teacher taught his class proper poems. Mr Rasmussen delivered and demanded structure, sound, imagery, allusions, and weight of what I adopted as the high-water mark of poems. Among them I liked Pope best.

Today, I am in such a different place.
May 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
An essay on man is one of the best poems in the English language full of wisdom and spiritual insights and the classicism and the mastery of Pope's style is very remarkable every word is in its exact place "Nothing to add and nothing to abate".
Pope I Think has not taken the place he deserves among the great masters of poetry in the English language.
Oct 05, 2009 rated it liked it
After having read the majority of it alone I understood the general picture, but I had no earthly idea what Pope was trying to convey to his readers. I saw resemblance between Pope's writing style and that of John Milton. After some guidance from my teacher I began to have an understanding and greater appreciation for Pope's writing.
May 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Not exactly a review, but I would easily say that this was the most difficult book I have ever tried to understand. I feel better knowing that I have not only digested the text on page, but was given an collaborative chance to understand a good portion of what Pope was trying to convey in this work.
E.J. Matze
Mar 29, 2010 marked it as to-read
Aside from the celebrated title poem — a survey of the nature of the universe and man's place in it — this collection features "The Rape of the Lock," "Ode on Solitude," "The Dying Christian to His Soul," "Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady," "Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot" and more.
Dec 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Alexander Pope's essay always leave me with some type of hope for my world. That sounds totally cheesy I known, but it's the only way I can really explain it. Let's be honest people can really suck. So it's nice to have something to go to when you need to be reminded that the world is beautiful.
Barry Bridges
Jun 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really can't review Alexander Pope. He did coin the phrase, "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."
Dec 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
An Essay on Man (Epistle I) 2/12/07
R.K. Goff
Mar 05, 2008 rated it liked it
It had some really great things to say, but I think that it was a little too verbous for me. Still this is a wonderful example of poetry.
Jesse Broussard
Apr 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: excellent, hilarious
Essential for the satirist. You want a sting in the tail? Take a lesson from the Little Monster.
Aug 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Used this mostly for Literature GRE studying purposes. It does the trick, as it presents works that likely appear on the test.
Feb 27, 2015 rated it liked it
This is tough. I think the poems themselves are good, but I found it very difficult to enjoy them simply because it was poetry.
Dec 16, 2010 rated it did not like it
I just don't get it...I'm sorry. I tried, I really tried, and it just doesn't make any sense to me.
Sep 14, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: school
I am writing an essay on this. And neoclassical values, hooray!
Julius McCarter
rated it it was amazing
Oct 05, 2014
Howard Hastings
rated it really liked it
Jul 13, 2016
rated it liked it
Sep 06, 2007
Brett A Johnson
rated it liked it
Mar 20, 2018
rated it it was ok
Mar 11, 2012
rated it it was ok
Oct 26, 2007
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Defence of Poesie, Astrophil and Stella, and Other Writings
  • Essays in Radical Empiricism
  • Selected Poems
  • An Elegy Written In A Country Churchyard
  • The Works of William Wordsworth (Wordsworth Collection)
  • Songs of Experience
  • Experimental Researches in Electricity
  • English Romantic Poetry
  • Biographia Literaria: Biographical Sketches of my Literary Life & Opinions
  • The Provincial Letters
  • Athalie
  • The Vanity of Human Wishes
  • Introduction to Positive Philosophy
  • The Collected Dialogues
  • Poems and Prose
  • The Hawk in the Rain
  • Three Treatises
  • Evangeline and Other Poems
See similar books…
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.
“What Reason weaves, by Passion is undone.” 261 likes
“Remembrance and reflection how allied!
What thin partitions Sense from Thought divide!”
More quotes…