Tech which makes Sense

Alexander Pope, best known for popularizing the heroic couplet, caught my eye in an English literature class at Michigan State University in the mid-1960s.

He was more interested in reading Pope at the time than learning about Pope because he clearly knew how to do what I call “turn a word.” That is, write a string of words that grabs your attention and delivers such deep thought that it cannot be ignored.

Pope was a master of this art of writing. You may have read or heard these gems:

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Fools rush to enter where angels fear to tread.

To err is human, to forgive divine.

The ends must justify the means.

More than one author has rewritten these thoughts and claimed them for monetary gain. Each of these thoughts could remind us of an amazing truth: someone said it first.

Some experts say that William Shakespeare of England is the most widely read and cited author of all time. Many suggest that the Holy Bible is the second. British author Agatha Christie’s books have been said to have only outsold Shakespeare and the Bible.

Alexander Pope may not have sold that many books, but he has been cited as the second most frequently cited writer in the English language, after William Shakespeare.

Pope (1688-1744), the master of the heroic couplet, is generally regarded as the greatest English poet of the early 18th century. He was widely known for his satirical verses and for his translation of Homer.

For the uninitiated, the heroic couplet is a rhyming pair of iambic pentameters. The iambic is a verse that uses iambs, and a yambio is a metric foot consisting of a short (or unstressed) syllable followed by a long (or stressed) syllable. So there you have it, learning once again emerges on your computer monitor.

The title of this article is an example of Pope’s heroic couplet: A little learning is a dangerous thing. Drink well or don’t taste Pieria’s spring.

Read for a moment, appreciate how good Pope and his verses were, and understand why it would catch my attention:

On bribery: judges and senates have been bought for gold; Esteem and love were never to be sold.

About the churches: Whoever builds a church to God, and not to Fame, will never mark the marble with his Name.

On curiosity: One who is too wise an observer of the affairs of others, like one who is too curious when observing the work of bees, will often feel trapped by their curiosity.

About the devil: Satan is wiser now than before and tempts by becoming rich instead of poor.

On education: ‘This education forms the common mind. Just as the twig is bent, the tree is bent.

On the expectation: Blessed is he who does not expect anything because he will never feel disappointed.

Trendy: don’t be the first to try the new, or the last to put the old aside.

On the gossip: And everyone who told it added something new, and everyone who heard it, also made extensions.

On the judgment: ‘It is with our judgments like our watches, none is the same, but each one believes theirs.

Order: order is the first law of heaven; and this he confesses, Some are and must be greater than others.

On pride: what governs the weak head with the most prejudices is pride, the infallible vice of fools.

On the proverbs: Hope springs eternally in the human breast, man never is, but he will always be blessed.

On providence: Destroy all creatures for your fun or blast, Yet cry, if man is unhappy, God is unjust.

On the right: always do the right thing. That will please some people and amaze the rest.

On self-knowledge: do not trust yourself, but trust your defects to know, make use of each friend and each enemy.

On self-sacrifice: many men have been able to do something wise, more cunning, but very few something generous.

Here’s the message: Great writers and great writers are timeless to those who seek knowledge and truth. If you don’t care about either of them, then it doesn’t matter. For example:

If the current generation is on spring break at the beach, drinking and getting high, and running around half-naked ready to fuck each other, that’s their business and their perfect right.

My suspicion is that their personal life is so devoid of anything meaningful that they must put on a public display to convince themselves that they are having a life experience. In their effort to elevate superficiality to an art form, they occasionally succeed.

Now let’s get back to something worth examining, the life of Alexander Pope, which should inspire not only poets and writers, but also the disabled.

Pope, born in London, was the son of a linen merchant and his wife. Because they were Catholics, he grew up having to deal with the Church of England, which prohibited Catholics from teaching under penalty of life imprisonment.

His aunt taught him to read and he was educated in two secret Catholic schools that, although illegal, were tolerated in some areas.

Pope suffered from Pott’s disease, a form of tuberculosis that affects the spine. This stunted his growth and deformed his body, perhaps ending his life at 56. He was only 4 feet 6 inches tall and apparently not very handsome, which may explain why he was never married.

Despite his unfavorable start in life, Louis Kronenberger in “Selected Works of Alexander Pope” says: “In terms of money and fame, Pope was probably the most successful English poet who ever lived. No other in his day, few on any day. ” had so many readers or received such almost universal acclaim. “

Pope’s works would not make her forget him, but the growth of romanticism in the late 18th century would. Joseph Warton would deny that Pope was ever a “true poet” and would dismiss him simply as a “man of wit” and a “man of sense”, thus hastening the demise of the “Age of the Pope.”

It would take until the 1930s to rediscover Alexander Pope and his works. By publishing this article in Internet directories, we hope that Alexander Pope and his works will once again take their rightful place among the great works of history. With apologies to a great writer:

Then Alexander Pope, who was soon forgotten,

It could finally turn into a true monster.

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

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