Postby jiang on Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:02 am

Dear Prof.,

Please read the following:

If the flights of Dryden therefore are higher, Pope continues longer on the wing. If of Dryden's fire the blaze is brighter, of Pope's the heat is more regular and constant, Dryden often surpasses expectation, and Pope never falls below it.

Could you please kindly explain the italicized part?

Looking forward to hearing from you.
Thank you in advance.

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Re: comprehension

Postby prof on Thu Apr 02, 2015 11:46 pm

Since italics do not come out on this forum, I'll explain the text as a whole.

This is a commentary on two contemporary English poets; Pope and Dryden. The writer makes the same point three times using a different metaphor each time.

If the two poets were birds, Dryden would fly higher, but Pope would fly longer. If the two poets were fires, Dryden would burn more strongly, but Pope would give more steady heat. Dryden often does better than we expect, Pope never does less than we expect.

In other words, sometimes Dryden is the better poet. Most of the time Pope is.
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