In 1997 Dublin honored Wilde (who was born there in 1854) with this statue sculpted of semi-precious stones reclining on a boulder of Irish quartz. Surrounding him are some of his most famous epigrams, like this one:
"Be Brief: While the modern epigraph evolved from the lengthy prefaces of early novels like Don Quixote (1605) and Gulliver's Travels (1726), many authors have adopted the less-is-more approach. One of the most famous epigraphs is a mere two words: 'Only connect.' Thus E.M. Forster announced the theme of Howards End (1910) while dispensing valuable life advice. . . . Brevity amplifies truth and seals it in our memories.
The epigrammatic poem above was written by Alexander Pope (1688-1744). Pope wrote many famous epigrams, “To Err is human, to forgive divine,” and, “A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep , or taste not the Pierian spring;” both come from his verse book, An Essay on Criticism, delineating his principles of poetic critique. He is the third most quoted of the English poets, just behind Shakespeare and Tennyson.
The writers of epigrams do not always agree with each other. I call such disputes "Epigram Scams" since one of the disputers must be wrong. Here is an example of a dispute that I have with a famous epigrammatist: