POPE, Alexander. The Lilliputian Ode
London: Frederick Compton Avis [c.1960]
A miniature publication of Alexander Pope’s short verses written in response to his friend’s Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. 45 x 35 mm, 23 pp; bound in dark green morocco, with gilt title to front cover in a near fine state of preservation. Composed in three stanzas consisting of three-syllable lines and a concluding line of six syllables. The work’s full title To Quinbus Flestrin the Man-Mountain. An Ode. By Titty Tit, Esq; Poet-Laureat to his Majesty of Lilliput encapsulates Pope’s subversive form of ‘poetics of transgression’, a departure from the humourless and sombre classical ode, but an amusing poem directly engaging with Swift’s work. These verses were included at the head of the second edition of Gulliver’s Travels (1727), but have almost been forgotten from Pope’s literary historiography. Made even more interesting in its small format, The Lilliputian Ode speaks to the reader as a miniscule being addressing a giant in his last verses:
On thy Hand,
Let me stand;
So shall I
Lofty Poet! touch the Sky.