By G. Atkins
A clean examine the best poet of early eighteenth-century England, this hugely readable booklet makes a speciality of Pope's spiritual pondering and significant poems. G. Douglas Atkins extends the argument that the Roman Catholic poet was once no Deist, 'closet' or differently.
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Extra resources for Alexander Pope’s Catholic Vision: “Slave to no sect”
In Eliot’s comparing, the result is not, then, triumph of one over the other; although neither wins, neither loses. Comparing thus prevents too positive a conclusion. The game concerns elucidation and clarification, certainly precision of perception, instead of winning. You know each text only in terms of its difference(s) from another text, rather than in and of itself, alone. Or, rather, the text’s “own” properties emerge in, through, and by means of the revealed differences from another. Comparison is thus a via media instrument; in mitigating the positive, it works against the building of an argument.
Reproduced in the Twickenham Edition of the Poems as “The Universal Prayer. Deo Opt. ,” and excluded from Aubrey Williams’s popular Riverside Edition (whether for artistic or doctrinal reasons), this short work consists of thirteen four-line octosyllabic stanzas rhyming abab. Emphasis falls on inclusiveness, and so the poem is neither doctrinaire nor dogmatic. S. Eliot pointedly omits the definite article before the capitalized noun, signaling his interest in pattern, always and everywhere present: “The hint half guessed, the gift half understood, is Incarnation”: Father of All!
S. Eliot, Ash-Wednesday: Six Poems (London: Faber and Faber, 1930). 9 Sir William Habington, quoted in Henry David Thoreau, The Portable Thoreau, ed. Carl Bode (New York: Viking Penguin, 1947), 559. 10 Michel de Montaigne, “Of Practice,” The Art of the Essay, ed. Lydia Fakundiny (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1991), 686. 11 Ibid. 12 Helen Vendler, Poets Thinking: Pope, Whitman, Dickinson, Yeats (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2006). The remark actually appears on the dustjacket; no mention appears in Vendler’s critical text.
Alexander Pope’s Catholic Vision: “Slave to no sect” by G. Atkins