Poet Alexander Pope (1688 – 1734) demonstrated (arguably) the dominant voice of the 18th century. His mellifluous, moralistic, biting tongue produced remarkable satire and heart-wrenching prosody. His personal life was rife with controversy and he wrestled with physical health issues (a brief biography is offered on poets.org).
Pope’s “Eloisa to Abelard” (from which the line “Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind” springs) is an Ovidian heroic epistle inspired by an illicit love affair. The secret marriage between Eloisa and Abelard, who is an infamous teacher/philosopher, twenty years older than she, sets the stage for this 18th century tragedy. This poem eloquently plumbs the depths of the nature of human and divine love. See the complete text of the poem on the Poetry Foundation website.
And here is my tiny haiku, inspired by Pope’s life, his silver winged tongue, wit, and criticism, which qualifiy him as one of my favorite artists: