…the couplet was regarded as a plain, ordinary kind of verse, in contrast to the stanzaic forms used so commonly for long narratives and to blank verse, which was best suited for tragedy and epic. The couplet was “nearest prose”; which is to say, our own view of it as artificial and hifalutin is exactly contrary to the view held by those who practiced it and who were trying to do the same thing, roughly speaking, for the poetry of their time that Pound and Williams did for the poetry of theirs.

–Hayden Carruth, “Three Notes on the Verse Writing of Alexander Pope,” from Effluences from the Sacred Caves