The Literary Salon

A free salon wherein patrons and passers-by may view or contribute ideas on literary and generally intellectual matters. The blog will strive to maintain its commitment to wit, humour and perspicuous analysis.

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Location: Toronto, now Ottawa, Ont, Canada

Monday, May 21, 2007

Snap, Crackle, and Pope

Happy 319th, Mr. Pope.

Apart from my fondness for his poetic work (and yes, he was a poet), I admire Pope's struggles against adversity: he was born a Catholic in England, which essentially precluded any future patronage or favour; born with a crooked spine (he never exceeded 4 foot 11, and in fact, needed a primitive booster seat at the dinner table); constantly complained of headaches; and made many enemies. Despite all this, he became the first poet in England to make his living solely off of his writing! His translation of Homer's Iliad made him essentially a millionaire overnight.

I agree with Johnson when he says that another poet with Pope's gift of verse will not appear for at least a thousand years.


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