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Selected Poetry (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

Alexander Pope , Pat Rogers
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 Jun 1998 Oxford World's Classics
Alexander Pope (1688-1744) is regarded as the most important poet of the early eighteenth century. An invalid from infancy, Pope devoted his energies towards literature and achieved remarkable success with his first published work at the age of 21. A succession of brilliant poems followed, including An Essay on Criticism (1711), Windsor Forest (1713), and his masterpiece The Rape of the Lock (1712). A second period of great poetry was begun in 1728 with the appearance of the first Dunciad. All these works, which exhibit Pope's astonishing human insight, his wide sympathies, and powers of social observation (displayed to greatest effect in his talent for satire), feature in this selection. In his introduction - an eloquent defence of Pope's poetic practice - Pat Rogers argues that we must abandon our Romantic conception of poetry as a record of fleeting and subjective states if we are to understand Pope fully. Instead, we must see him as an accomplished practitioner of the poetry of ideas and of satirical reflection on human society. This collection is chosen from the Oxford Authors critical edition of Pope's major works.

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; New edition edition (18 Jun 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192834940
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192834942
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 524,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"Good notes, especially on esoteric terms, concepts, [and] items endemic to the 18th century."--Mary Norton, Western Carolina University"This is an excellent classroom text for a course in major 18th century poets. I would not hesitate to use it or recommend it to others."--Robert D. Spector, Long Island University"An absorbing and erudite study."--John Marillo, North Carolina State University"The cleanest text of all Pope anthologies combined with the most helpful notes make this the most accessible collection of Pope's poems available to students."--Jerome Donne, University of Central Florida

About the Author

Pat Rogers is DeBartolo Professor of the Liberal Arts at the University of South Florida. He has written books on Pope, Swift, Johnson, Defoe, and Fielding, as well as general books such as The Augustan Vision (1974), and Literature and Popular Culture in Eighteenth-Century England (1985). He is the editor of The Oxford Illustrated History of English Literature. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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'Tis hard to say, if greater want of skill Appear in writing or in judging ill; But, of the two, less dangerous is th' offence To tire our patience, than mislead our sense. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Selected Poetry of Alexander Pope 17 Jun 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An thoroughly enjoyable read if you enjoy poetry. I had never read any of Pope's work before and found myself wanting to study more about him after this read.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Having only read these three poems I still must whole heartedly recommend others to them. He not only writes engaging and politically charged poems like Windsor Forest, but also has an amazing gift as a poet. Eloise to Abelard, is a touching homage to a 14th century legend of two lovers and beautiful to read.

This contains also the Dunciad and so contains his main poetical works as well as some lesser known ones. I would recommend this over the Oxford World Classics - complete works of Pope.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Selected Poetry (ed. Pat Rogers) 9 Sep 2001
By A Customer
This is a good selection of Pope's poems -- perhaps containing his best work. (Although a complete edition, such as John Butt's one-volume compression of the massive -- and Dunciadical -- Twickenham edition, will contain more pleasures, including Pope's occasional poetry, some of which is very good.)
The introduction is unusually good, a rumbustuous defence of Pope against the long-standing (and surely fading) conception of poetry as simple, sensuous and whatever: the Palgravian imprisonment of poetry into the idealistic lyric.
Pope's poems are, of course, fantastic. (Although I'm not sure that I feel as much for them as I do for a few other poets' work: lack of experience? or does Pope, for all his gifts, really lack some of the -- what? -- inwardness? tenderness? yielding attitude to life that poetry embodied for the Romantics?) I haven't learnt to love 'Windsor Forest' (Pope seems here -- and elsewhere -- to have learnt from Ben Jonson, whose 'To Penshurt' is perhaps the originator of this genre), and confess that 'The Rape of the Lock' is too refined for my taste. The humour in 'The Dunciad' seems to stretch much further -- such as the diving into the river in Book Two (surely taken from Jonson's concluding poem in his 'Epigrams') where one dunce relates how the mud-nymphs ("Nigrina black, and Merdamente brown") fell in love with him.
Pope's verse-letters and satires are fantastic too: crisp, like nothing else in English. (The epigramaic sharpness, and concern for making satire a work of art, again more akin to Jonson than Dryden.) Passages like this description of a Lord's library:
His study! with what authors is it stored?
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars hard going 15 Nov 2011
By fabrice
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I think most people would find Pope a difficult read without a guide to explain the allusions and point out the symbolism. I read and hated him for examinations and later came to delight in his sense of humour and the charming pictures of everyday life in London and in the yawningly dull county where ladies play cards and go to bed before seven. Have a go because he is a charmer but it won't be easy.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 7 Sep 2013
By J.A.L.
Format:Kindle Edition
I first read the Selected Poems of Yevgeny Yevtushenko (published 1969) in the early 70s and have remembered it since then. It has been such a pleasure to re read alongside Yevtushenko's A Precocious Autobiography (published 1963) which adds resonance and gives a background to the man and his poetry. I would say these books are a must for anyone who is interested in Russian literature and history.
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