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The best of these early writings are the “Ode on Solitude” and a paraphrase of St.Thomas à Kempis, both of which he claimed to have written at age 12.
Pope’s religion procured him some lifelong friends, notably the wealthy squire John Caryll (who persuaded him to write Martha Blount, to whom Pope addressed some of the most memorable of his poems and to whom he bequeathed most of his property.
But his religion also precluded him from a formal course of education, since Catholics were not admitted to the universities.
Though he was able to ride a horse and delighted in travel, he was inevitably precluded from much normal physical activity, and his energetic, fastidious mind was largely directed to reading and writing.epigrams (e.g., “A little learning is a dangerous thing,” “To err is human, to forgive, divine,” and “For fools rush in where angels fear to tread”), which have become part of the proverbial heritage of the language, are readily traced to their sources in Horace, Quintilian, Boileau, and other critics, ancient and modern, in verse and prose; but the charge that the poem is derivative, so often made in the past, takes insufficient account of Pope’s success in harmonizing a century of conflict in critical thinking and in showing how nature may best be mirrored in art.
(two cantos, 1712; five cantos, 1714), to reconcile two Catholic families.
In another early poem,“Eloisa to Abelard,” Pope borrowed the form of Ovid’s “heroic epistle” (in which an abandoned lady addresses her lover) and showed imaginative skill in conveying the struggle between sexual passion and dedication to a life of celibacy.
Famous for its expressive breadth and insightful wisdom, “An Essay on Man” (1733-1734) has been extremely popular during last three centuries.
By 1705 his “ This early emergence of a man of letters may have been assisted by Pope’s poor physique.
As a result of too much study, so he thought, he acquired a curvature of the spine and some tubercular infection, probably Pott’s disease, that limited his growth and seriously impaired his health.
A comparable blend of seemingly incompatible responses—love and hate, bawdiness and decorum, admiration and ridicule—is to be found in all Pope’s later satires.
The poem is thick with witty allusions to classical verse and, notably, to Milton’s Windsor-Forest.” In this poem, completed and published in 1713, he proceeded, as Virgil had done, from the pastoral vein to the georgic and celebrated the rule of Queen Anne as the Latin poet had celebrated the rule of Augustus.