February 28, 2017


"Love, whether newly born or aroused from a deathlike slumber, must always create sunshine, filling the heart so full of radiance, that it overflows upon the outward world.”  ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

“Love, whether newly born or aroused from a deathlike slumber, must always create sunshine, filling the heart so full of radiance, that it overflows upon the outward world.”
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

“Our Creator would never have made such lovely days, and have given us the deep hearts to enjoy them, above and beyond all thought, unless we were meant to be immortal.”
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Old Manse, from Mosses from an Old Manse, 1854

“Women derive a pleasure, incomprehensible to the other sex, from the delicate toil of the needle.”
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

“No summer ever came back, and no two summers ever were alike. Times change, and people change; and if our hearts do not change as readily, so much the worse for us.”
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance

“Depending upon one another's hearts, ye had still hoped that virtue were not all a dream. Now are ye undeceived. Evil is the nature of mankind.”
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown

“There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name. Come, devil; for to thee is this world given.”
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown

“It is remarkable, that persons who speculate the most boldly often conform with the most perfect quietude to the external regulations of society. The thoughts alone suffice them, without investing itself in the flesh and blood of action.”
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

“In our nature, however, there is a provision, alike marvelous and merciful, that the sufferer should never know the intensity of what he endures by its present torture, but chiefly by the pang that rankles after it.”
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

“We dream in our waking moments, and walk in our sleep.”
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

“A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities.”
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, Fanshawe

“She could no longer borrow from the future to ease her present grief.”
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

“No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.”
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

“Death should take me while I am in the mood.”
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance

“Let men tremble to win the hand of woman, unless they win along with it the utmost passion of her heart!”
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

“She wanted—what some people want throughout life—a grief that should deeply touch her, and thus humanize and make her capable of sympathy.”
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

“We men of study, whose heads are in our books, have need to be straightly looked after! We dream in our waking moments, and walk in our sleep.”
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

“She had wandered, without rule or guidance, into a moral wilderness... Her intellect and heart had their home, as it were, in desert places, where she roamed as freely as the wild Indian in his woods... The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers—stern and wild ones—and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.”
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

“The greatest obstacle to being heroic is the doubt whether one may not be going to prove one's self a fool; the truest heroism is, to resist the doubt; and the profoundest wisdom, to know when it ought to be resisted, and when to be obeyed.”
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance

“Few secrets can escape an investigator who has opportunity and license to undertake such a quest and skill to follow it up.”
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

February 25, 2017


Lingua Franca is an auxiliary language, generally of a hybrid and partially developed nature, which is employed over an extensive area by people speaking different and mutually unintelligible tongues in order to communicate with one another. Holmes (1997:86) writes that ‘the term lingua franca describes a language serving as a regular means of communication between different linguistic groups in a multilingual speech community’.

Features of Lingua Franca

  • A lingua franca is a used for communication between two or more groups that have different native languages.
  • Any given language normally becomes a lingua franca primarily by being used for international commerce, but can be accepted in other cultural exchanges, especially diplomacy.
  • Any language could conceivably serve as a lingua franca between two groups, no matter what sort of language it is.
  • Lingua Franca is a purely functionally-defined term, that is, linguistic structure of the language involved plays no role.
  • A lingua franca may also be a pidgin, like Melanesian Pidgin, widely used in the southern Pacific.
  • It may be used either intranationally (within one nation), e.g. English in India or Nigeria; or internationally, e.g. English between Germans and Japanese.

Examples of Lingua Franca

Examples are the several varieties of the hybrid pidgin English; Swahili, a native language of Eastern Africa; Chinook jargon, a lingua franca formerly used in the American Northwest that was a mixture of Chinook, other Native American languages, English, and French; and a variety of Malay (called bazaar Malay), which served as a compromise language in the area of British Malaya, the Dutch East Indies, and neighboring regions. Some people say that English is the lingua franca of the Information Age.

The original lingua franca was a tongue actually called Lingua Franca (or Sabir) that was employed for commerce in the Mediterranean area during the Middle Ages. Now extinct, it had Italian as its base with an admixture of words from Spanish, French, Greek, and Arabic. The designation “Lingua Franca” (language of the Franks) came about because the Arabs in the medieval period used to refer to Western Europeans in general as “Franks.” Occasionally the term lingua franca is applied to a fully established formal language; thus formerly it was said that French was the lingua franca of diplomacy.

Lingua Franca


“Lingua franca.” Wikipedia. 2008. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 12 August 2008
< https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lingua_franca >.

February 24, 2017


Plagiarism is the act of presenting someone else’s creative work without due acknowledgement. Plagiarism could be committed either intentionally or unintentionally. Regardless of how it occurs, plagiarism is a serious offence and is devoid of ethics.


The term plagiarism was first used in the early 17th century. It derives from the Latin plagiarius, meaning “kidnapper” or “abductor” from plagium, meaning “kidnapping”, which comes from the Greek plagios, meaning “one who acts indirectly.” Although originally it was used to mean someone who steals someone else's child, gradually came to mean to pass off someone else's work as one’s own. The derivatives of plagiarism include:
  • plagiary noun
  • plagiarist noun
  • plagiarize verb
  • plagiaristic adjective

Forms/Characteristics/Types of Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a very ambiguous term and it is not possible to draw its exact boundary. However, in general sense its characteristics may include but not limited to the following:
  1. Misusing another person’s work: This is an intentional form of plagiarism. Usually students/writers commit this type of plagiarism in the following cases:
  • Submitting a paper, examination, or assignment written by another person.
  • Copying portions of another's writing without enclosing the copied passage in quotation marks & acknowledging the source in a list of work cited.
  • The use of a unique term or concept that one has come across without acknowledging its source.
  • The paraphrasing or restating of someone else's ideas without acknowledging that person.
  • Internet accessed sources and materials that are not properly attributed to the source or creator.
  • Purchasing an essay or paper from a "dealer" on the Internet, a frat house, sorority library or anywhere else and calling it as an individual work.
  • Borrowing another student's paper from a previous semester and calling it own work.
  • Having someone else do the work, for free or for hire.
  • Collectively researching and writing a paper with other students and each turning copies into different class sections claiming it as individual work.
  1. Misusing resources: This is an unintentional form of plagiarism. Usually this type of plagiarism occurs when the students/writers commit the following mistakes:
  • Improperly documenting quoted, paraphrased or summarized source material.
  • Falsely citing something that was never actually consulted, or making up a citation.
  • Failure to establish and maintain sustained open communications with the individual who is responsible for approving and evaluating the submission.
  • Citing some resources in the Works Cited (bibliography) list but intentionally omitting them in parenthetical citations.

How to Avoid plagiarism

In most cases, plagiarism can be avoided, however, by citing sources. Simply acknowledging that certain material has been borrowed, and providing the audience with the information necessary to find that source, is usually enough to prevent plagiarism. The most practical way to this is to use parenthetical documentation. For example:
  1. Yoga is an ancient health-art developed and perfected over the centuries by the sages and saints of ancient India (Dunne 9).
  2. Desmond Dunne writes that Yoga is an ancient health-art developed and perfected over the centuries by the sages and saints of ancient India (9).
The parenthetical references “(Dunne 9)” and “(9)” suggest that the segment comes from the preface of a work by Dunne occurring in page 9. By the author’s last name, the readers will be able to find the complete information for the source from the Works Cited (Bibliography) list:

Works Cited
Dunne, Desmond. Preface. Yoga Made Essay. By Dunne. London: Granada, 1971. 9-11.


Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th ed. New Delhi: Affiliated E-W P, n.d.

“Plagiarism”. KidsHealth. 2008. Nemours. 4 August 2008
< http://kidshealth.org/kid/feeling/school/plagiarism.html>.

“Plagiarism in essays”. Mantex. 2008. Mantex. 4 August 2008
< http://www.mantex.co.uk/books/essays.htm>.

February 21, 2017


“The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?”

“The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?”
~ Edgar Allan Poe, The Premature Burial

  “Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.”
~ Edgar Allan Poe, The Works of Edgar Allan Poe (1871)

“The true genius shudders at incompleteness — imperfection — and usually prefers silence to saying the something which is not everything that should be said.”
~ Edgar Allan Poe, Marginalia

“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.”
~ Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven

“There are chords in the hearts of the most reckless which cannot be touched without emotion.”
~ Edgar Allan Poe, The Masque of the Red Death

“But as, in ethics, evil is a consequence of good, so, in fact, out of joy is sorrow born. Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of today, or the agonies which are have their origin in the ecstasies which might have been.”
~ Edgar Allan Poe, Berenice

“In our endeavors to recall to memory something long forgotten, we often find ourselves upon the very verge of remembrance, without being able, in the end, to remember.”
~ Edgar Allan Poe, Ligeia

“Deep in earth my love is lying
And I must weep alone.”
~ Edgar Allan Poe, Deep in Earth (1847)

“All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream”
~ Edgar Allan Poe, A Dream Within a Dream

“To die laughing must be the most glorious of all glorious deaths!”
~ Edgar Allan Poe, The Assignation (1834)

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”
~ Edgar Allan Poe, Eleonora

“It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream.”
~ Edgar Allan Poe, Marginalia

“I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active - not more happy - nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago.”
~ Edgar Allan Poe, Edgar Allan Poe to James Russell Lowell — July 2, 1844

“There are some secrets which do not permit themselves to be told.”
~ Edgar Allan Poe, The Man of the Crowd (1850)

“We gave the Future to the winds, and slumbered tranquilly in the Present, weaving the dull world around us into dreams.”
~ Edgar Allan Poe, The Mystery of Marie Rogêt

“True, nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am, but why will say that I am mad?! The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute.”
~ Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings

“The fury of a demon instantly possessed me. I knew myself no longer. My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body; and a more than fiendish malevolence, gin-nurtured, thrilled every fibre of my frame.”
~ Edgar Allan Poe, The Black Cat

“Even with the utterly lost, to whom life and death are equally jests, there are matters of which no jest can be made.”
~ Edgar Allan Poe, The Masque of the Red Death

“From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were - I have not seen
As others saw - I could not bring
My passions from a common spring -”
~ Edgar Allan Poe, Alone

“I call to mind flatness and dampness; and then all is madness - the madness of a memory which busies itself among forbidden things.”
~ Edgar Allan Poe, The Pit and the Pendulum

“Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”
~ Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven

February 19, 2017


Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.

“Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.”
~ Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

“Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously near to wanting nothing.”
~ Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

“There is so much hurt in this game of searching for a mate, of testing, trying. And you realize suddenly that you forgot it was a game, and turn away in tears.”
~ Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

“The silence depressed me. It wasn't the silence of silence. It was my own silence.”
~ Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

“If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.”
~ Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

“I felt very still and empty, the way the eye of a tornado must feel, moving dully along in the middle of the surrounding hullabaloo.”
~ Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

“I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my eyes and all is born again.”
~ Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”
~ Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

“I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited.”
~ Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

“To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is a bad dream.”
~ Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
~ Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

“Living with him is like being told a perpetual story: his mind is the biggest, most imaginative I have ever met. I could live in its growing countries forever.”
~ Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

“Dying is an art.
Like everything else,
I do it exceptionally well.
I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I have a call.”
~ Sylvia Plath, Ariel

“I am terrified by this dark thing
That sleeps in me;
All day I feel its soft, feathery turnings, its malignity.”
~ Sylvia Plath, Ariel

“My mind is barren and I must scavenge themes as a magpie must: scraps and oddments.”
~ Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

“I want to taste and glory in each day, and never be afraid to experience pain; and never shut myself up in a numb core of nonfeeling, or stop questioning and criticizing life and take the easy way out. To learn and think: to think and live; to live and learn: this always, with new insight, new understanding, and new love.”
~ Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

“I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow, the million moving shapes and cul-de-sacs of shadow. There was shadow in bureau drawers and closets and suitcases, and shadow under houses and trees and stones, and shadow at the back of people's eyes and smiles, and shadow, miles and miles and miles of it, on the night side of the earth.”
~ Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

“The blood of love welled up in my heart with a slow pain. ”
~ Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

“With love and faith, not turning sour and cold and bitter, to help others. That is salvation. To give of love inside. To keep love of live, no matter what, and give to others. Generously.”
~ Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

February 18, 2017


“The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.” ~ Ernest Hemingway, Men Without Women

“The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.”
~ Ernest Hemingway, Men Without Women

“There is no lonelier man in death, except the suicide, than that man who has lived many years with a good wife and then outlived her. If two people love each other there can be no happy end to it.”
~ Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”
~ Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

“No, that is the great fallacy: the wisdom of old men. They do not grow wise. They grow careful.”
~ Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”
~ Ernest Hemingway, The Garden of Eden

“But life isn't hard to manage when you've nothing to lose.”
~ Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

“Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.”
~ Ernest Hemingway, Introduction to Treasury for the Free World by Ben Raeburn, 1946.

“But man is not made for defeat," he said. "A man can be destroyed but not defeated.”
~ Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

“If you have a success, you have it for the wrong reasons. If you become popular it is always because of the worst aspects of your work.”
~ Ernest Hemingway, That Summer in Paris (1963) by Morley Callaghan

“The only thing that could spoil a day was people. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.”
~ Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

“I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.”
~ Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon

“I know the night is not the same as the day: that all things are different, that the things of the night cannot be explained in the day, because they do not then exist, and the night can be a dreadful time for lonely people once their loneliness has started.”
~ Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

“The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.”
~ Ernest Hemingway, Notes on the Next War

“Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt, use it-don't cheat with it.”
~ Ernest Hemingway, Letter to F Scott Fitzgerald, as quoted in Scott Fitzgerald (1962)
   by Andrew Turnbull (1962) Ch. 14

“Never to go on trips with anyone you do not love.”
~ Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

“An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.”
~ Ernest Hemingway, A Matter of Conscience: Redemption of a Hometown Hero, 
   Bobby Hoppe (2010) by Sherry Lee Hoppe, p. 185

“I can't stand it to think my life is going so fast and I'm not really living it.”
~ Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

February 14, 2017


Quotations by Emily Dickinson

“Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality.”
~ Emily Dickinson, Because I could not stop for Death (479)

“I died for beauty, but was scarce 
Adjusted in the tomb,
When one who died for truth was lain
In an adjoining room.”
~ Emily Dickinson, I Died for Beauty, but was Scarce (449)

“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”
~ Emily Dickinson, “Hope” is the thing with feathers (314)

“A power of Butterfly must be –
The Aptitude to fly
Meadows of Majesty concedes
And easy Sweeps of Sky –”
~ Emily Dickinson, My Cocoon tightens — Colors teaze (1099)

“Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.”
~ Emily Dickinson, Success is counted sweetest (112)

“I wonder if it hurts to live –
And if They have to try –
And whether – could They choose between –
It would not be – to die –”
~ Emily Dickinson, I measure every Grief I meet (561)

“My life closed twice before its close–
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me

So huge, so hopeless to conceive
As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.”
~ Emily Dickinson, My life closed twice before its close (96)

“We never know how high we are
 Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan,
Our statures touch the skies–”
~ Emily Dickinson, We never know how high we are (1176)

“That I shall love alway–
I argue thee
That love is life–
And life hath Immortality–”
~ Emily Dickinson, That I did always love

“We outgrow love, like other things
And put it in the Drawer –
Till it an Antique fashion shows–
Like Costumes Grandsires wore.”
~ Emily Dickinson, We outgrow love, like other things… (887)

“Love–is anterior to Life–
Posterior–to Death–
Initial of Creation, and
The Exponent of Earth–”
~ Emily Dickinson, Love—is anterior to Life (917)

“She died – this was the way she died.
And when her breath was done
Took up her simple wardrobe
And started for the sun –
Her little figure at the gate
The Angels must have spied,
Since I could never find her
Upon the mortal side.”
~ Emily Dickinson, She died – this was the way she died

“The Sun–just touched the Morning–
The Morning—Happy thing–
Supposed that He had come to dwell–
And Life would all be Spring!”
~ Emily Dickinson, The Sun—just touched the Morning (232)

“Mine Enemy is growing old–
I have at last Revenge–
The Palate of the Hate departs–
If any would avenge

Let him be quick –the Viand flits–
It is a faded Meat–
Anger as soon as fed is dead–
'Tis starving makes it fat–”
~ Emily Dickinson, Mine Enemy is growing old (1509)

“I felt a Cleaving in my Mind–
As if my Brain had split–
I tried to match it–Seam by Seam–
But could not make it fit.”
~ Emily Dickinson, I felt a Cleaving in my Mind (937)

“The Brain–is wider than the Sky–
For–put them side by side–
The one the other will contain
With ease–and You–beside–”
~ Emily Dickinson, The Brain—is wider than the Sky

“I like to see it lap the Miles–
And lick the Valleys up–
And stop to feed itself at Tanks–
And then - prodigious step”
~ Emily Dickinson, I like to see it lap the Miles (383)

February 10, 2017


Quotations by W. H. Auden

“Lay your sleeping head, my love,
Human on my faithless arm;
Time and fevers burn away
Individual beauty from
Thoughtful children, and the grave
Proves the child ephemeral:
But in my arms till break of day
Let the living creature lie,
Mortal, guilty, but to me
The entirely beautiful.”
~ W.H. Auden, Lullaby

“The glacier knocks in the cupboard,
The desert sighs in the bed,
And the crack in the teacup opens
A lane to the land of the dead.”
~ W.H. Auden, As I Walked Out One Evening

 “In the nightmare of the dark
All the dogs of Europe bark,
And the living nations wait,
Each sequestered in its hate;

Intellectual disgrace
Stares from every human face,
And the seas of pity lie
Locked and frozen in each eye.”
~ W.H. Auden, In Memory of W. B. Yeats

“There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.”
~ W.H. Auden, September 1, 1939

“The nightingales are sobbing in
The orchards of our mothers,
And hearts that we broke long ago
Have long been breaking others;
Tears are round, the sea is deep:
Roll them overboard and sleep. ”
~ W.H. Auden, Song Of The Master And Boatswain

“The sky is darkening like a stain
Something is going to fall like rain
And it won't be flowers”
~ W.H. Auden, The Two (or The Witnesses)

“The mass and majesty of this world, all
That carries weight and always weighs the same
Lay in the hands of others; they were small
And could not hope for help and no help came:
What their foes like to do was done, their shame
Was all the worst could wish; they lost their pride
And died as men before their bodies died.”
~ W.H. Auden, The Shield of Achilles

“Were all stars to disappear and die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time."
~ W.H. Auden, The More Loving One

“But once in a while the odd thing happens,
Once in a while the dream comes true,
And the whole pattern of life is altered,
Once in a while the moon turns blue.”
~ W.H. Auden, Once In A While The Odd Thing Happens

“Clear, unscalable, ahead
Rise the Mountains of Instead,
From whose cold, cascading streams
None may drink except in dreams.”
~ W.H. Auden, Autumn Song

“Beloved, we are always in the wrong,
Handling so clumsily our stupid lives,
Suffering too little or too long,
Too careful even in our selfish loves:
The decorative manias we obey
Die in grimaces round us every day,
Yet through their tohu-bohu comes a voice
Which utters an absurd command - Rejoice. ”
~ W.H. Auden, In Sickness and in Health

“Time will say nothing but I told you so,
Time only knows the price we have to pay;
If I could tell you I would let you know.”
~ W.H. Auden, If I Could Tell You

“For poetry makes nothing happen: it survives
In the valley of its making where executives
Would never want to tamper, flows on south
From ranches of isolation and the busy griefs,
Raw towns that we believe and die in; it survives,
A way of happening, a mouth.”
~ W.H. Auden, In Memory of W. B. Yeats

“In Breughel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.”
~ W.H. Auden, Auden, Musée des Beaux Arts

“Base words are uttered only by the base
And can for such at once be understood;
But noble platitudes — ah, there's a case
Where the most careful scrutiny is needed
To tell a voice that's genuinely good
From one that's base but merely has succeeded.”
~ W.H. Auden, Base Words Are Uttered Poem

“Acts of injustice done
Between the setting and the rising sun
In history lie like bones, each one.”
~ W.H. Auden

“Be subtle, various, ornamental, clever,
And do not listen to those critics ever
Whose crude provincial gullets crave in books
Plain cooking made still plainer by plain cooks.”
~ W.H. Auden, The Truest Poetry is the Most Feigning

“We are, for all our polish, of little
stature, and, as human lives,
compared with authentic martyrs,
of no account.”
~ W.H. Auden

“Far from his illness
The wolves ran on through the evergreen forests,
The peasant river was untempted by the fashionable quays;
By mourning tongues
The death of the poet was kept from his poems.”
~ W.H. Auden, In Memory of W.B. Yeats

“Will it come like a change in the weather?
Will its greeting be courteous or rough?
Will it alter my life altogether?
O tell me the truth about love.”
~ W.H. Auden, O Tell Me The Truth About Love Poem

“Nothing can be loved too much,
but all things can be loved
in the wrong way.”
~ W.H. Auden, Thank You, Fog

“And maps can really point to places
Where life is evil now:
Nanking. Dachau.”
~ W.H. Auden, In Time of War

“Lovers have lived so long with giants and elves, they won't believe again in their own size.”
~ W.H. Auden, Letters from Iceland

“A dead man who never caused others to die seldom rates a statue.”
~ W.H. Auden

“The element of craftsmanship in poetry is obscured by the fact that all men are taught to speak and most to read and write, while very few men are taught to draw or paint or write music.”
~ W.H. Auden

“People always get what they want. But there is a price for everything. Failures are either those who do not know what they want or are not prepared to pay the price asked them. The price varies from individual to individual. Some get things at bargain-sale prices, others only at famine prices. But it is no use grumbling. Whatever price you are asked, you must pay.”
~ W.H. Auden

“The identification of fantasy is always an attempt to avoid one's own suffering: the identification of art is the sharing in the suffering of another.”
~ W.H. Auden

“Some books are undeservedly forgotten, none are undeservedly remembered”
~ W.H. Auden

“Human "nature" is a nature continually in quest of itself, obliged at every moment to transcend what it was a moment before.”
~ W.H. Auden

February 9, 2017


Quotations by Dylan Thomas

“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
~ Dylan Thomas, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

“Venus lies star-struck in her wound
And the sensual ruins make
Seasons over the liquid world,
White springs in the dark.”
~ Dylan Thomas, Ballad Of The Long-Legged Bait

“Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.”
~ Dylan Thomas, Fern Hill

“They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.”
~ Dylan Thomas, And Death Shall Have No Dominion Poem

“A worm tells summer better than the clock,
The slug's a living calendar of days;
What shall it tell me if a timeless insect
Says the world wears away?”
~ Dylan Thomas, Here In This Spring

“Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood
Shall calm her sores.”
~ Dylan Thomas, The Force That through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower

“Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.”
~ Dylan Thomas, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

“In my craft or sullen art
Exercised in the still night
When only the moon rages
And the lovers lie abed
With all their griefs in their arms
I labour by singing light
Not for ambition or bread
Or the strut and trade of charms
On the ivory stages
But for the common wages
Of their most secret heart.”
~ Dylan Thomas, In My Craft Or Sullen Art

“My birthday began with the water-
Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name
Above the farms and the white horses
And I rose
In a rainy autumn
And walked abroad in shower of all my days
High tide and the heron dived when I took the road
Over the border
And the gates
Of the town closed as the town awoke.”
~ Dylan Thomas, Poem In October

“Which is the world? Of our two sleepings, which
Shall fall awake when cures and their itch
Raise up this red-eyed earth?”
~ Dylan Thomas, Our Eunuch Dreams

“Fear not the waking world, my mortal,
Fear not the flat, synthetic blood,
Nor the heart in the ribbing metal.
Fear not the tread, the seeded milling,
The trigger and scythe, the bridal blade,
Nor the flint in the lover's mauling.”
~ Dylan Thomas, And Death Shall Have No Dominion Poem

“From where you are you can hear in Cockle Row in the spring, moonless night, Miss Price, dressmaker and sweetshop-keeper, dream of her lover, tall as the town clock tower, Samson syrup-gold-maned, whacking thighed and piping hot, thunderbolt-bass'd and barnacle-breasted, flailing up the cockles with his eyes like blowlamps and scooping low over her lonely loving hotwaterbottled body.”
~ Dylan Thomas, Under Milk Wood

“It was snowing. It was always snowing at Christmas. December, in my memory, is white as Lapland, though there were no reindeers. But there were cats.”
~ Dylan Thomas, A Child's Christmas in Wales

“Time passes. Listen. Time passes.
Come closer now.
Only you can hear the houses sleeping in the streets in the slow deep salt and silent black, bandaged night.”
~ Dylan Thomas, Under Milk Wood

 “Deep with the first dead lies London's daughter,
Robed in the long friends,
The grains beyond age, the dark veins of her mother,
Secret by the unmourning water
Of the riding Thames.
After the first death, there is no other.”
~ Dylan Thomas, A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London

“My tears are like the quiet drift
Of petals from some magic rose;
And all my grief flows from the rift
Of unremembered skies and snows.
I think, that if I touched the earth,
It would crumble;
It is so sad and beautiful,
So tremulously like a dream.”
~ Dylan Thomas, Clown in the Moon

February 8, 2017


Quotations by Toni Morrison

“We mistook violence for passion, indolence for leisure, and thought recklessness was freedom.”
~ Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

“Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.”
~ Toni Morrison, Beloved

 “The presence of evil was something to be first recognized, then dealt with, survived, outwitted, triumphed over.”
~ Toni Morrison, Sula

“Beauty was not simply something to behold; it was something one could do.”
~ Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

“How exquisitely human was the wish for permanent happiness, and how thin human imagination became trying to achieve it.”
~ Toni Morrison, Paradise

“It is sheer good fortune to miss somebody long before they leave you.”
~ Toni Morrison,  Sula

“Sweet, crazy conversations full of half sentences, daydreams and misunderstandings more thrilling than understanding could ever be.”
~ Toni Morrison, Beloved

“Anger is better. There is a sense of being in anger. A reality and presence. An awareness of worth. It is a lovely surging.”
~ Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

“She learned the intricacy of loneliness: the horror of color, the roar of soundlessness and the menace of familiar objects lying still.”
~ Toni Morrison, A Mercy

“Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined.”
~ Toni Morrison, Beloved

“I dream a dream that dreams back at me”
~ Toni Morrison, A Mercy

 “Love is never any better than the lover. Wicked people love wickedly, violent people love violently, weak people love weakly, stupid people love stupidly, but the love of a free man is never safe. There is no gift for the beloved. The lover alone possesses his gift of love. The loved one is shorn, neutralized, frozen in the glare of the lover’s inward eye.”
~ Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

“There is a loneliness that can be rocked. Arms crossed, knees drawn up, holding, holding on, this motion, unlike a ship’s, smooths and contains the rocker. It’s an inside kind—wrapped tight like skin. Then there is the loneliness that roams. No rocking can hold it down. It is alive. On its own. A dry and spreading thing that makes the sound of one’s own feet going seem to come from a far-off place.”
~ Toni Morrison, Beloved

A dream is just a nightmare with lipstick.”
~ Toni Morrison, Love

“It was a fine cry - loud and long - but it had no bottom and it had no top, just circles and circles of sorrow.”
~ Toni Morrison, Sula

“It’s a bad word, ‘belong.’ Especially when you put it with somebody you love … You can’t own a human being.”
~ Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

“Like any artist without an art form, she became dangerous.”
~ Toni Morrison, Sula

“If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.”
~ Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

“You can't own a human being. You can't lose what you don't own. Suppose you did own him. Could you really love somebody who was absolutely nobody without you? You really want somebody like that? Somebody who falls apart when you walk out the door? You don't, do you? And neither does he. You're turning over your whole life to him. Your whole life, girl. And if it means so little to you that you can just give it away, hand it to him, then why should it mean any more to him? He can't value you more than you value yourself.”
~ Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

“Love is divine only and difficult always.”
~ Toni Morrison, Paradise

“At some point in life the world's beauty becomes enough. You don't need to photograph, paint or even remember it. It is enough. No record of it needs to be kept and you don't need someone to share it with or tell it to. When that happens — that letting go — you let go because you can.”
~ Toni Morrison, Tar Baby

“Along with the idea of romantic love, she was introduced to another—physical beauty. Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought. Both originated in envy, thrived in insecurity, and ended in disillusion.”
~ Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

"And fantasy it was, for we were not strong, only aggressive; we were not free, merely licensed; we were not compassionate, we were polite; not good, but well behaved. We courted death in order to call ourselves brave, and hid like thieves from life. We substituted good grammar for intellect; we switched habits to simulate maturity; we rearranged lies and called it truth, seeing in the new pattern of an old idea the Revelation and the Word.”
~ Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

“Some things you forget. Other things you never do. But it's not. Places, places are still there. If a house burns down, it's gone, but the place--the picture of it--stays, and not just in my remory, but out there, in the world. What I remember is a picture floating around out there outside my head. I mean, even if I don't think if, even if I die, the picture of what I did, or knew, or saw is still out there. Right in the place where it happened.”
~ Toni Morrison, Beloved

“There in the center of that silence was not eternity but the death of time and a loneliness so profound the word itself had no meaning. ”
~ Toni Morrison, Sula

February 7, 2017

Circe Offering the Cup to Ulysses (1891) - JW Waterhouse
Circe (also called Kirke), in Greek mythology is a minor goddess of magic, or sometimes, a sorceress or witch. Circe is the Latinized spelling of the original Greek Kirkê, which derives from the verb kirkoô meaning “to hoop around with rings” and “to encircle,” in Circe’s case which may refer to the binding power of magic.

Circe was a very beautiful goddess. She lived on the island of Aeaea, near the west coast of Italy. Her companions comprised magically transformed animal-servants. With potions and spells Circe was able to turn people into beasts. Her victims retained their reason, however, and knew what had happened to them.

Differing views are available about Circe’s parentage. Pursuant to Homer and Hesiod, she was the daughter of the sun god Helios (Roman  equivalent: Sol) and the sea nymph Perse. However, the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus mentions her as the daughter of Aeetes and Hecate (Roman equivalent: Trivia). Again, a few others call her the daughter of Hyperion and Aerope. She had two brothers, Aeetes and Perses; and a sister, Pasiphae. Her offspring include:

Sl. # Offspring Father Source
Agrios Odysseus Hesiod, Theogony (1011)
Latinos Odysseus Hesiod, Theogony (1011)
Telegonos Odysseus Homerica: Returns (Fragment 4)
Homerica: Telegony (Fragment 1)
Plutarch, Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans (41)
Hyginus, Fabulae (127)
Oppian, Halieutica (2.497)
Nausithous Odysseus Hyginus, Fabulae (125)
Telegonos Odysseus Hyginus, Fabulae (125)
Latinos Telemakhos Nonnus, Dionysiaca (13.327 & 37.10)

Odysseus and Circe - Salomon De Bray
Perhaps the best-known account of Circe stems from Homer’s Odyssey, wherein she is a very beautiful goddess playing a major role in one of Odysseus’ most important adventures. Having barely escaped the Cyclops Polyphemus and the cannibals in the land of the Laestrygonians, Odysseus and his comrades camped on Circe’s island. The weary visitors rested on the sea beach for three consecutive days, until Odysseus saw a wisp of smoke in far-away. Suspecting the presence of human life, Odysseus sent captain Eurylochus with twenty two men to explore the island. In the course of their quest the crew found Circe’s mansion in the deep forest. Circe cordially invited them all to enter her house to join a grand feast. Although all of his companions attended the feast with pleasure, captain Eurylochus decided not to enter the house suspecting conspiracy. In the feast Circe served dishes laced with magical potion, which made the crew drowsy and forgetful of their native land. No sooner had they finished their food, Circe turned the wretched men into pigs with her magical wand. Eurylochus, who was unharmed, rushed back to Odysseus to inform about the sinister incident.

On his way to find help for his men, Odysseus met the god Hermes (Roman equivalent: Mercury), from whom he received a herb that would make him immune to Circe's enchantments. He also advised Odysseus to threaten Circe with his sword so that she surrenders and invite him to bed. However, Hermes also warned him that Circe could still be treacherous and would probably take his manhood unless he had her swear by the names of the gods that she would not try any more tricks. With Hermes’ aid Odysseus was able to catch Circe by surprise. Her encounter with Odysseus reminded Circe of the hero who she had been told by an earlier prophecy would one day come to her. Consequently, as told by the prophecy she befriended Odysseus and invited him to bed. Upon Odysseus’ request she transformed his men back into human shape, younger and more handsome than before.

He and his friends stayed with her for a year. When they finally determined to leave, she told Odysseus how to find the spirit of the Theban seer Tiresias in the underworld in order to learn from him how to conduct safely the homeward voyage. When they went there Odysseus was given a prophecy of his own demise. They then returned to Circe for further instructions. She told them to depart but also warned them of the dangers of the journey ahead. In particular, she told them not to kill the cattle of the sun god, Helios, which lived on the island of Thrinacia. As it turned out, only Odysseus was resolute enough to heed her warning, and consequently he was the only member of the crew to complete the journey.

Lady Hamilton As Circe (1782) - George Romney


"Circe”. Wikipedia. 2017. Wikimedia Foundation Inc. 16 January 2017
< https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circe >.

"Circe”. GreekMythology.com. 2017. GreekMythology.com. 16 January 2017
< http://www.greekmythology.com/Other_Gods/Circe/circe.html>.

" KIRKE”. Theoi Project. 2017. Aaron J. Atsma. 16 January 2017
< http://www.theoi.com/Titan/Kirke.html>.

" Circe (Greek mythology)”. Credo. 2017. Credo Reference. 16 January 2017
< http://search.credoreference.com/content/topic/circe_greek_mythology>.

" Witch of the Week — Circe”. Nook of Names. 2017. Nook of Names. 16 January 2017
< http://nookofnames.com/2011/12/13/witch-of-the-week-circe/>.

February 5, 2017


“We are funny creatures. We don't see the stars as they are, so why do we love them? They are not small gold objects, but endless fire.”
~ Saul Bellow, Henderson the Rain King

“Some people, if they didn't make it hard for themselves, might fall asleep.”
~ Saul Bellow, The Adventures of Augie March

“Ninety per cent of life is a nightmare, do you think I am going to get it rounded up to hundred per cent?”
~ Saul Bellow, Humboldt's Gift

“People don't realize how much they are in the grip of ideas. We live among ideas much more than we live in nature.”
~ Saul Bellow, Conversations with Saul Bellow

“You can spend the entire second half of your life recovering from the mistakes of the first half. ”
~ Saul Bellow, Seize the Day

“A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.”
~ Saul Bellow, To Jerusalem and Back

“Live or die, but don't poison everything.”
~ Saul Bellow, Herzog

“Boredom is the conviction that you can't change ... the shriek of unused capacities.”
~ Saul Bellow, The Adventures of Augie March

“Readiness to answer all questions is the infallible sign of stupidity.”
~ Saul Bellow, Herzog

“It seems, after all that there are no nonpeculiar people.”
~ Saul Bellow, Humboldt's Gift

“The physical body is an agent of the spirit and its mirror. It is an engine and a reflection of the spirit. It is the spirit's ingenious memorandum to itself and the spirit sees itself in my body, just as I see my own face in a looking glass. My nerves reflect this. The earth is literally a mirror of thoughts. Objects themselves are embodied thoughts. Death is the dark backing that a mirror needs if we are to see anything.”
~ Saul Bellow, Humboldt's Gift

“I am a true adorer of life, and if I can't reach as high as the face of it, I plant my kiss somewhere lower down. Those who understand will require no further explanation.”
~ Saul Bellow, Henderson the Rain King

“Boredom is an instrument of social control. Power is the power to impose boredom, to command stasis, to combine this stasis with anguish. The real tedium, deep tedium, is seasoned with terror and with death.”
~ Saul Bellow, Humboldt's Gift

“All human accomplishment has this same origin, identically. Imagination is a force of nature. Is this not enough to make a person full of ecstasy? Imagination, imagination, imagination! It converts to actual. It sustains, it alters, it redeems!”
~ Saul Bellow, Henderson the Rain King

“In every community there is a class of people profoundly dangerous to the rest. I don't mean the criminals. For them we have punitive sanctions. I mean the leaders. Invariably the most dangerous people seek the power. While in the parlors of indignation the right-thinking citizen brings his heart to a boil.”
~ Saul Bellow, Herzog

“She's very pretty but she's honey from the icebox, if you know what I mean. Cold sweets won't spread.”
~ Saul Bellow, Humboldt's Gift

“One must bear in mind the odd angle or slant that the rays of love have to take in order to reach a heart like mine.”
~ Saul Bellow, Humboldt's Gift

“I want to tell you, don't marry suffering. Some people do. They get married to it, and sleep and eat together, just as husband and wife. If they go with joy they think it's adultery.”
~ Saul Bellow, Seize the Day

“External life being so mighty, the instruments so huge and terrible, the performances so great, the thoughts so great and threatening, you produce a someone who can exist before it. You invent a man who can stand before the terrible appearances. This way he can't get justice and he can't give justice, but he can live. And this is what mere humanity always does. It's made up of these inventors or artists, millions and millions of them, each in his own way trying to recruit other people to play a supporting role and sustain him in his make-believe... That's the struggle of humanity, to recruit others to your version of what's real.”
~ Saul Bellow, The Adventures of Augie March

“If you could have confidence in nature you would not have to fear. It would keep you up. Creative is nature. Rapid. Lavish. Inspirational. It shapes leaves. It rolls the waters of the earth. Man is the chief of this. All creations are his just inheritance. You don't know what you've got within you. A person either creates or he destroys. There is no neutrality.”
~ Saul Bellow, Seize the Day

February 3, 2017


Quotations by W.B. Yeats

“Everything exists, everything is true, and the earth is only a little dust under our feet.”
~ W.B. Yeats, The Celtic Twilight: Faerie and Folklore

“We can make our minds so like still water that beings gather about us that they may see, it may be, their own images, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life because of our quiet.”
~ W.B. Yeats, The Celtic Twilight: Faerie and Folklore

“All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.”
~ W.B. Yeats, Easter 1916

“For he would be thinking of love
Till the stars had run away
And the shadows eaten the moon.”
~ W.B. Yeats, Brown Penny

“What hurts the soul
My soul adores”
~ W.B. Yeats, The Lady's First Song

“Out of Ireland have we come.
Great hatred, little room,
Maimed us at the start.
I carry from my mother's womb
A fanatic heart.”
~ W.B. Yeats, Remorse for Intemperate Speech

“Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.”
~ W.B. Yeats, The Land of Heart's Desire

“Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.”
~ W.B. Yeats, The Stolen Child

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”
~ W.B. Yeats, The Second Coming

“Why should I blame her that she filled my days
With misery, or that she would of late
Have taught to ignorant men most violent ways,
Or hurled the little streets upon the great,
Had they but courage equal to desire?
What could have made her peaceful with a mind
That nobleness made simple as a fire,
With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind
That is not natural in an age like this
Being high and solitary and most stern?
Why, what could she have done, being what she is?
Was there another Troy for her to burn?”
~ W.B. Yeats, No Second Troy

“Be you still, be you still, trembling heart;
Remember the wisdom out of the old days:
Him who trembles before the flame and the flood,
And the winds that blow through the starry ways,
Let the starry winds and the flame and the flood
Cover over and hide, for he has no part
With the lonely, majestical multitude.”
~ W.B. Yeats, To my Heart, bidding it have no Fear

“Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”
~ W.B. Yeats, The Wind Among the Reeds

“We know their dream; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead;
And what if excess of love
Bewildered them till they died?”
~ W.B. Yeats, Michael Robartes and the Dancer

“When you are old and grey and full of sleep
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep”
~ W.B. Yeats, When You Are Old

“An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress”
~ W.B. Yeats, Sailing to Byzantium

“Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.”
~ W.B. Yeats, Sailing to Byzantium

“Never shall a young man,
Thrown into despair
By those great honey-coloured
Ramparts at your ear,
Love you for yourself alone
And not your yellow hair.”
~ W.B. Yeats, For Anne Gregory

“And what if excess of love
Bewildered them till they died?”
~ W.B. Yeats, Michael Robartes and the Dancer

"I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade."
~ W.B. Yeats, The Lake Isle of Innisfree

“O bid me mount and sail up there
Amid the cloudy wrack,
For Peg and Meg and Paris' love
That had so straight a back,
Are gone away, and some that stay
Have changed their silk for sack.”
~ W.B. Yeats, A Man Young And Old

February 1, 2017

Alexander Pope

A prominent English poet and satirist of the 18th century.


  • Birth Name: Alexander Pope
  • Date of Birth: May 21, 1688
  • Place of Birth: London, United Kingdom
  • Zodiac Sign: Gemini
  • Death: May 30, 1744
  • Place of Death: Twickenham, United Kingdom
  • Cause of Death: Tuberculosis
  • Ethnicity: White
  • Nationality: British
  • Place of Burial: St Mary's Church, Twickenham, Greater London, England
  • Last Words: NA
  • Epitaph: NA
  • Father: Alexander Pope Senior (1646–1717)
  • Mother: Edith (née Turner) (1643–1733)
  • Siblings: None
  • Relationship: Martha Blount (1690–1762)
  • Marital Status: Unmarried
  • Children: None
  • Height: 4 ft 6 in
  • Alma Mater: Twyford School
  • Known for: for his satirical verse with masterful use of heroic couplet
  • Criticized for: NA
  • Influences: Horace (65 BC –8 BC), Juvenal, Homer, Virgil (70 BC –19 BC), William Shakespeare (1564 –1616), Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343 –1400), and John Dryden (1631–1700)
  • Influenced: NA


“A little learning is a dangerous thing.
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian Spring;
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
and drinking largely sobers us again.”

Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism

Major Themes

  • Contemporary Cultural Milieu
  • Gender Roles
  • Female Sexuality
  • Deterioration of Heroic Ideals
  • Religious Piety
  • Idleness of the Upper Classes
  • Ephemeral Nature of Beauty

Notable Works

  • Pastorals (1709)
  • An Essay on Criticism (1711)
  • The Rape of the Lock (1712 to 1717)
  • A Key to the Lock (1714)
  • Windsor Forest (1713)
  • Prologue to Mr. Addison's Cato (1713)
  • Imitation of Horace, Book II. Sat. 6 (1714)
  • Eloisa to Abelard (1717)
  • Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady (1717)
  • The Iliad of Homer (poetic interpretation) (1715 to 1720)
  • The Odyssey of Homer (poetic interpretation) (1725)
  • Thoughts on Various Subjects (published in Swift's Miscellanies) (1727)
  • The Dunciad (1728)
  • Moral Essays (1731 to 1735)
  • Essay on Man (1734)
  • The Prologue to the Satires (see the Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot) (1735)
  • Satires, Epistles, and Odes of Horace (1733 to 1738)
  • The Universal Prayer (1738)
  • New Dunciad (1743)

Did You Know?

  • Alexander Pope was called "The Wicked Wasp of Twickenham" for his harsh literary satires of his fellow writers.
  • Pope’s father, who worked as a linen merchant was also named Alexander Pope.
  • Pope was born during the peak of the anti-Catholic movement, so he received much of his education at home.
  • He had a purported romantic involvement with Martha Blount, although no strong evidence could be presented to prove that Pope and Martha were more than very good spiritual friends. 
  • At the age of twelve, he was contracted with the Pott’s disease which restricted his height to only 4 feet 6 inches and also caused a hunchback.
  • Popes enemies used to make fun of his disfigured body.
  • The Pott’s disease caused him many other health complications such as respiratory problems, high fevers, continuous headache, inflamed eyes and abdominal pain, which gradually culminated to his death.
  • His first work was Pastorals which was published in 1709 in the sixth part of Tonson’s Poetical Miscellanies.
  • Pope took about three years to finish his poem An Essay on Criticism.
  • His The Rape of the Lock (1712) was based on a true event that happened to his acquaintance.
  • His knowledge of English, French, Italian, Latin and Greek helped him to study works of great writers like Juvenal, Homer, Virgil, William Shakespeare, Geoffrey Chaucer, and John Dryden.
  • He was buried next to his mother in the nave of the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Twickenham.
  • Rumour has it that Pope's skull was exhumed some time later and purchased for phrenological examination. Consequently, he is said to haunt the church.


“Alexander Pope”. Wikipedia. 2017. Wikimedia Foundation Inc. 4 January 2017
< https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Pope >.

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