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Selected Poetry (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 18 Jun 1998

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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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: 19.3 x 1.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,228,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"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.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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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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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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 14 Mar. 2015
By Nayely Arredondo - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book arrived ok and it was not dammaged at all
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Consult the Genius of the Place 16 May 2005
By Alexander Schulman - Published on
Format: Paperback
When I first started reading this collection, I thought that eighteenth century poetry was dry and inferior to later forms of literature, especially when compared with the innovations of the twentieth century. After delving deeply into some of Pope's major poems, I realized how wrong I was. Pope's wit was astounding, and he was a true poetic genius in his ability to capture concepts and arguments in beautifully rendered images and metaphors. His abilities are best summarized in these famous lines from his "Essay on Criticism": "True wit is nature to advantage dressed, / What oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed."

I was often surprised by Pope's ability to articulate ideas that had occurred to me, but I was never able to articulate myself. It is a testament to Pope's insight into the human condition that his lines still ring true three hundred years since their first appearance. The subtle, complex ideas found in his poetry will expand your thoughts in ways you never though possible, especially if you have never experienced poetry from this period before.

For me, some of the highlights from this collection are "The Rape of the Lock", a beautifully detailed mock-epic steeped in the material culture of the eighteenth century; "Windsor Forest", a topographical poem that encodes and critiques the history of England in a description of its landscape; "Epistle to Burlington", a stinging criticism of "false taste"; and "Eloisa to Abelard", an emotionally wrenching letter of tragic medieval romance. For those interested in the writing and critiquing of literature (admittedly, not everyone), the brilliant "Essay on Criticism" will be the standout piece here, with its vast complexities and beautiful imagery. Furthermore, the detailed notes in the back of this edition should fill you in on any historical or literary references that will assist in your interpretation of the poems.

This edition is an amazing introduction to the poetry of one of the greatest writers in the English language, and a good first step into a fascinating period of literature. Don't be afraid! Read this book!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good selection. 21 Aug. 2012
By drohan00 - Published on
Format: Paperback
Some people may carp about missing one poem or the other, I would have liked better cuttings of his Odyssey and Iliad translations, but I know that the editors only had limited space.

All of the Pope is needed here for instructional purposes. I really like that the Pastorals are included, because that is the initial Pope, and builds into the rest. You get the Essay on Criticism, a good cutting from the Essay on Man, and the entire Rape of the Lock.

In total this collection is really good. I do not agree with all the editors have chosen, but there are comprehensive anthologies out there. For a beginner, or the new student of Pope and neo-classicism, this book is a fine start.
5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Step aside Byron, Dryden, and Shelley 8 Aug. 2005
By Pascal Hagge - Published on
Format: Paperback
Step aside Byron, Dryden, and Shelley Words are not enough to describe the great pope, I have read the works of many poets but none come close to Pope. Practically self educated he puts words in such a way and with such wit, that you often feel and say "That is so true, so beautifully described"........ take a minute and contemplate on the below. A great Master

1. Some in search of wisdom, lose their common sense and then turn critics in their own defense.

2. Men deal with their life as children with their play, who first misuse then cast their toys away.

3. Launch not beyond your depth but be discreet , and mark the point were sense and dulness meet.

4. A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong which is but saying, in other words that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.
1.0 out of 5 stars Look Elsewhere 13 Feb. 2016
By Shandyist - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Notes are minimal. No general reader or conscientious undergraduate will be able to read this text without a tablet on the desk to look up Pope's places, names, and allusions. Useless as a teaching text or general reader. As an exercise in Pope Lite, this text fails utterly.
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