It sounds so modern

From “Samuel Johnson on Pope,” which appeared on The Lives of the English Poets (1779-1781):

Poetry was not the sole praise of either; for both excelled likewise in prose. The style of Dryden is capricious and varied; that of Pope is cautious and uniform. Dryden observes the motions of his own mind; Pope constrains his mind to his own rules of composition. Dryden’s page is a natural field, diversified by the exuberance of abundant vegetation. Pope’s is a velvet lawn, shaven by the scythe, and leveled by the roller.

That is criticism, I believe!

By Peter

After stints as a trial lawyer and a church worker, Peter Stephens has settled in as a Virginia high school English teacher. Peter has read several books and poems. He wrote none of the posts below filed under "Passages." Click the link at the end of each post to see it in the context of the author's original post.