Today, I’d like to share a poem that I like very much. I read it when I was in 10th Grade. The Principal of the school I was going gave me a book of poetry. I remember reading that book fascinated by the words in it. There is where I found this excerpt of Essay on Man from Alexander Pope (1688-1744).
I really didn’t understand it the first time I read it. So I ask advice from a teacher. He gave me some literature to read. I thought: ‘why don’t just tell me!”. Oh, fool of me! I think that it gives us an insight into reflection about our inner self. Who we are and what is our goal in life. A very personal interpretation and self-discovery.
To understand Alexander Pope’s philosophical work, we need to understand that he lived in the 18th century: he was a Catholic living in London, he had a physical disability and was self-taught (homeschooled). All of these could have been seen as obstacles, but instead, helped him build his character. The Essay is a philosophical work divided in four sections, that talks about the order in the world, God and creation, and man and the strive for good.
He was a controversial figure back then, and still is in this modern times. However you may perceive him, his talent is undeniable and the contributions made to the art of writing. He was the first full-time professional English writer, as he supported himself by subscriptions fee for the translation of Homer’s work and his edition of Shakespeare’s works.