Sir, I admit your gen’ral rule

That every poet is a fool.

But you yourself may serve to show it,

That every fool is not a poet.

                        –Alexander Pope

Having written this post, as well as a book of poetry (A Pillar of Pepper), I find this doubly scary.  But what then is an “epigram“?    [For MORE go through the DOOR]




What is an epigram?  a dwarfish whole,

Its body brevity, and wit its soul.

–Samuel Taylor Coleridge

(English poet, 1772-1834)


So I guess thatmeans something like a surprisingly short poem (whatever a poem is) is redeemed by surprising and biting cleverness.

And “Alexander Pope”?  First of all, don’t confuse him with “Pope Alexander I, II, III, IV, V, VI (especially him because he had a terrible reputation), VII or VIII.”  The Pope who wrote our poem was English (1688 -1744) and (according to Wikipedia) is the 3rd-most quoted writer (after Shakespeare and Tennyson) in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.