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. Book Source: Digital Library of India Item : Cleanth ioned. The Well Wrought Ursi ALSO BY CLEANTM BROOKS: Modern Poetry end the Trodltioas CLEANTH BROOKS The Wei! Wrought Urn STUDIES IN THE.

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All right, let s be serious. The point is to be made simply in order to make sure that we are completely aware of what he is doing.

From Cleanth Brooks, The Well-Wrought Urn, ch

Was Gray actually con- scious of such a purpose? She must certainly avoid at every cost becoming a ruined maid. To say that anything is an image suggests that there is some- thing else to which it corresponds; but here all correspond- ence is between images. One further point should be made: If one argues against this as oversub tie— and perhaps it is— and points out that after the poet says. Knowl- edge of them is already possessed by the only Being who can Judge them and thus the only Being to whom they are pertinent.

Yet on the whole, eell of us are less inclined to force the concept of ‘statement’ on drama than on a lyric poem; for the very nature of drama is that of something ‘acted out’—something which arrives at its conclusion through conflict—something which builds conflict into its very being….

The tone is ironical, but the irony is not that of a narrow and acerb satire; rather it is an irony which accords with brrooks wise recognition of the total situation. Some of it may be difficult because the poet is snobbish and definitely wants to restrict his audience, though this is a strange vanity and much rarer than Mr.

Brooks in his interpretation challenges the conception of Donne as being an early example of the use of eccentric metaphor, anticipating Yeats and Eliot, instead asserting that he is an extreme example of what all good poetry exemplifies, namely, paradox. In the second stanza, the clash between paganism and Christianity becomes quite ex- plicit: Warburton feels forced to com- ment as follows: This may be thought hardly broooks.


Yet, if we are to attempt a defense of the third stanza, we shall come nearest success by emphasizing the paradoxical implications of the repeated items; for whatever development there is in the stanza inheres in the increased stress on the paradoxical element.

Retrieved from ” https: The slightness of the similarity, recalling the greatness of the dissimilarity, disgusts us with the attempted comparison. Or is it a loose appositive: The ap- peal is to be made to the poem itself. And if he meant to be funny, to what end?

I do not mean that there is not much greatness in the poem. The poem, if it be a true poem is a simulacrum of reality—in this sense, at least, it is an ‘imitation’—by being an experience rather than any mere statement about experience or any mere abstraction from experience….

A historian who is like the forest rustic, a woodlander? Else why should honor be involved as it is? The lines are great poetry.

The Well Wrought Urn

And yet, is there not more here than the obvious humor? And the rich, al- most breathing world which the poet has conjured up for us contracts and hardens into the decorated motife on the um itself: They are convenient because, even if we judge them to be faulty, they demonstrate how obsessive for Shakespeare the symbols were— they demonstrate how far the conscious or unconscious symbolism could take him. We expect him to go on to say the same of the moon.

For better or worse, the lock has been lost. He can bear the blessed creatures as they rejoice in the world, but he himself is shut out from it. But it is also a point of first importance for the poem that the child, whatever he is to develop into later, possesses the harmony and apparent Joy of all these blessed creatures. Yet, though these aspects are so thoroughly interwoven with the spontaneous Joy of the child which the poet has himself lost, it is the earth which is re- sponsible for the loss.


After all, what the poet has said earlier is sincerely meant: The connection with The glory and the freshness of a dream of Stanza I is obvious, but I think few have noticed that tiie expected relation between the two is neatly wrohght. Surely, it is perfectly clear here that the child, coming upon the world, trailing his clouds of glory, is like the sun or moon which brings its radiance with it, moon- light or starlight or dawn light. My strange and self-abuse Is the initiate fear that wants hard use: There is a further difficulty in the symbol- ism: We are not forced to take the poem as either sly bawdy or as wroughy fantasy.

Perhaps, best of all, we might leam to distrust our ability to represent any poem adequately by paraphrase. The common-sense reader who distrusts cleatnh ingenious and wants his poetry to be explicit, declared, and forthright, may well c,eanth why, if all this elaborate handling of the lighting is going on, Milton has to handle it so indirectly.

The essential structure of a poem as distinguished from the rational or logical structure of the ‘statement’ which we abstract from it resembles that of architecture or painting: In his own terms he is betrayed. Man must try to predict and plan and control his destiny.

The conventions not only have a regularizing function; they have their own charm. If he do bleed.