Alexander Pope, The Worms

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Generally known as

The Worms

, this was probably ‘the most popular poem (at least in his own day) that Pope is supposed to have written’ (Ault and Butt, 163). It appeared almost forty times by 1750 in collections, pamphlets, and newspapers. Pope never acknowledged it as his composition, but it appeared in the


that he edited in 1727. The poem first appeared among his works in the Warburton edition of 1751. It continued to figure in collections of both Swift and Pope in the second half of the century.

In all likelihood, the poet leaked it deliberately to the notorious bookseller Edmund Curll. On 1 May 1716, Curll announced the publication of ‘The Worms, a Satyr; written by Mr. Pope’. It was printed on two sides of a single sheet, under the title To the Ingenious Mr.

1316 words

Citation: Rogers, Pat. "The Worms". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 October 2020 [, accessed 22 February 2024.]

39359 The Worms 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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