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He strongly puts his ideas on the ongoing question of if poetry should be natural or written as per the predetermined artificial rules set by the classical poets.This essay by Pope is neoclassical in its premises; in the tradition of Horace and Boileau.Pope believes that the value of literary work depends not on its being ancient or modern, but on its being true to Nature. Nature is to be found both in the matter and in the manner of expression, the two being inseparable.
Pope implies that if the artist needs to break rules and regulation, he should use poetic license.
Of All The Causes Which Conspire To Blind Man's Erring Judgment And Misguide The Mind, What The Weak Head With Strongest Bias Rules, Is Pride, The Never-failing Vice Of Fools.
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. 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.
Clearly, the poet must have a strong sense of literary tradition in order to make intelligent judgments as the critic must have it too.
Pope notes Virgil’s discovery that to imitate Homer is also to imitate nature. His nature is the combination of two elements society (human nature) and rules of classical artists-“nature is methodized”.Classical artist already discovers the natural rules and laws.Now, it is not necessary to go to nature again because to follow the classical artist is to go to the nature.So, sources of art are society and ancient artists.Pope’s primary concern in this essay is his advice mainly for critics, and secondarily for artists or poets.But most by Numbers judge a Poet's song; And smooth or rough, with them, is right or wrong: In the bright Muse tho' thousand charms conspire, Her voice is all these tuneful fools admire; Who haunt Parnassus but to please their ear, Not mend their minds; as some to church repair, Not for the doctrine but the music there.These equal syllables alone require, Tho' oft the ear the open vowels tire; While expletives their feeble aid do join; And ten low words oft creep in one dull line: While they ring round the same unvary'd chimes, With 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 threaten'd (not in vain) with "sleep": Then, at the last and only couplet fraught With some unmeaning thing they call a thought, A needless Alexandrine ends the song That, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along.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. It's kind of awkward, trying to review a great poem about reviewing.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.Decorum, for Pope, is the proper balance between expression and sound of content and form and it comes under versification.Pope considers wit as the polished and decorated form of language. Artist uses ‘heroic couplet’ (form) to express the heroic subject matter (content).