One of Brooks’s big arguments in The Well Wrought Urn is that you can’t summarize (or paraphrase) a poem and retain its meaning. The poem says something. From ig35 to ig48 Cleanth Brooks was co-editor of The South- ern Review with In addition to these and to The Well Wrought Urn, Mr. Brooks has published. Book Source: Digital Library of India Item : Cleanth ioned.

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For the child, in its helplessness, defies the murderers. What does traditional poetry com- municate? We live in an age in which miracles of all kinds are sus- pect, including the kind of miracle of which the poet speaks.

Some of that poetry is admittedly highly difficult — a very great deal of it is bound to appear difficult to the reader of conventional reading habits, even in spite of the fact — actually, in many cases, because of the fact — that he is a professor of lit- erature.

And there an end; but now they rise again. There is a bickering over rules.

Is she shallow and flirtatious, giving her favors freely to all; or, does she distribute her largesse impartially like a great prince? Of Turneys and of Trophies hung; Of Forests, and inchantments drear. For that fusion is not logical: Because literary tastes change so much over time, it seems reasonable to the historicist to evaluate each writer according to the standards of his own age.

Such a method, like any other, carries with it its own perils. This chapter is followed by two appendices: He refuses to accept the paradox as a serious rhetorical device; and since he is able to accept it only as a cheap trick, he is forced into this dilemma.


The Well Wrought Urn | work by Brooks |

On the other hand, this is not at all to say that Pope is anxious to do away with the courtly conventions as a pious fraud. More specifically, it represents his attempt to do justice to the intricacies of the feminine mind.

To ern his Cream-bowle duly set. Studies in the Structure of Poetry is a collection of essays by Cleanth Brooks. So it is, of course. He must return to us the unity of the experience itself as man knows it in his own experience. To take another example, Belinda, early in the poem, is compared to the sun. New honours come upon him, Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mould. Where, then, does the poem get its power? Criticism History and Critical Relativism.

There is stanza four, of course: Donne does not take love seri- ously: It is a court scene of some pomp and circumstance.

The Well Wrought Urn

Most important of all, the myth allows him to suggest that the charm, in part at least, springs from the very ab- surdity. Yet, even in history the usurper some- times succeeds; and he sometimes succeeds on the stage. Poems are certainly not made by formula and blue- print. The myth of the sylphs wroughh.

Belinda is a goddess, but she puts on her divinity at her dressing table; and, such is the paradox of beauty-worship, she can be both the sincere devotee and the divinity herself. The village itself has become a grove, subject to the laws of nature. For the cliches, if they make the contention absurd and pompous, do indicate, by coming alive on another level, the true, if uncon- scious, nature of the struggle. Its very fragility is part of its charm, and Pope becomes some- thing of a symbolist poet in suggesting this.

The passage quoted, one may argue, glances at the very phenomenon which Huxley so amiably describes; but Donne has trans- muted it into something else.


Is the passage vague or precise? In his summary chapter, Brooks articulates his position that it is “heresy” to paraphrase a poem when trying to get at its meaning. It is far more im- portant to see whether the generalizations proposed about the nature of the poem are really borne out by the poem itself. Knowledge has therefore conferred a favor, whatever her intentions, in refusing to unroll “to their eyes her ample page.

From Cleanth Brooks, The Well-Wrought Urn, ch

Casting a celanth religious light. Do the fair believe in the sylphs because they are still children? I should like to refer the reader to a concrete case. The petition to Mirth To live with her, and live with thee.

There is actually no reason for supposing that Pope thought it so.

In Paradise Lost, the great archangels single each other out for combat in the best Homeric style. I wish to thank the editors of the magazines mentioned and the directors of the Princeton University Press for their courtesy in extending permission for the publication of these ma- terials wrougnt.

Certainly, the final and climactic ap- pearance of the babe symbol merges all the contra- The Naked Babe and the Cloak of Manliness 49 dictory elements of the symbol. To sum up, there can be no question that Macbeth stands at the height of his power after his murder of Duncan, and that the plan — as outlined by Lady Macbeth — has been relatively successful.

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