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Sound and Sense
Sound and Sense
by Alexander Pope

Sound and Sense Ambition and Imitation Quotes Page 2

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Quote #4

Hear how Timotheus' vary'd Lays surprize,
And bid Alternate Passions fall and rise! (13-14)

The poet doesn't just want to show off his skill and perform his dance with words. He doesn't just want to avoid offending us. What he wants to do is to move our emotions and expectations. When the poet is this good at his dance, we too are moved and awakened out of our complacency and boredom. But notice, though the speaker tells us to hear Timotheus's song surprise us, it is actually his own poem that is surprising us with something new.

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