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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It is considered a seminal text  in the New Critical school of literary criticism. With Shakespeare, the difficulty may well be to prove that the chains exist at all. The affinities of the poem on this point are again with Paradise Lost, not with the Iliad. Studies in the Structure of Poetry.
The Well Wrought Urn | work by Brooks |
It is hardly because the metaphor is startlingly novel. At any rate, the person represents wrpught practical world which regards love as a silly affectation. These are lightbearers capable of trailing clouds of glory themselves, and they clothe the earth in light of various sorts.
In fact, it can be performed for any expression, nonliterary or literary. I refer to the remarkable hfteenth chapter of the Biographia. One rightly holds suspect a critical interpreta- tion that implies that they are. I shall not try to indicate in detail what the resolu- tion is.
Even though she loves her husband and though her ambition for herself is a part of her ambition for him, still she seems willing to consider even Macbeth at times as pure instrument, playing upon his hopes and fears and pride. Macbeth says in Act I: And the lines that follow have to do with the choice further: It is a pattern of resolutions and balances and harmonizations, developed through a temporal scheme They are perfectly evident — even in the title itself; and the poem begins with an address to the Muse in which the sexual implications are underscored: So ridest thou triumphing in my woe.
Therefore, according to Brooks, what makes it one of the most famous in the English language cannot be the poem’s message.
The Well Wrought Urn
Garland Publishing, p. Yet the imagery seems to me to be doing something else be- neath this surface statement, and something which is very important. Something of the bathos carries over to the sexual parallel; it is hinted, perhaps, that the worst thing about a real rape for the belle would be that it could not be concealed.
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…. The common-sense reader who distrusts the ingenious and wants his poetry to be explicit, declared, and qell right, may well ask why, if all this elaborate handling of the lighting is going on, Milton has to handle it so wroughht.
If the poet is to be true to his poetry, he must call it neither two nor one; the para- dox is his only solution. But the audience for which Gray wrote and which gave its admiration to the poem was aware of many of them.
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For example, Banquo says to the Weird Sisters, early in the play: Since painted, or not painted, all shall fade. We may approach the problem in this way: Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers Irradiate, there plant eyes, all mist from thence Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell Of things invisible to mortal sight.
Surely, it is perfectly clear here that the child, coming upon the urb, trailing his clouds of glory, is like the sun or moon which brings its radiance with it, moon- light or starlight or dawn light. We are willing to allow that paradox is broiks permissible weapon which a Chesterton may on occasion exploit. How im- portant they are may be judged by the response to the poem wel by an audience which is really completely unaware of them; our public school system, it may be said, is rapidly providing such an audience for the purposes of making such a test.
Nevertheless, I have decided to relegate the more technical parts of this discussion to an appendix where they will be available for those readers who are interested, but will intrude as little as possible on the book proper. I have at- tempted to examine, in terms of a common approach, a number of celebrated English poems, taken in chrono- logical order, from the Broks period to the pres- ent.
The comparison of the lovers wlel the phoenix is very skillfully related to the two earlier comparisons, that in which the lovers are like burning tapers, and that in which they are like the eagle and the dove.
The example is a fair one: For it is not merely his great imagination and his warrior courage in defeat which redeem him for tragedy and place him beside coeanth other great tragic protagonists: He must be prepared to accept a method of indirection. On this May morning, the country has come into the village to brrooks it, at least on this one day, for its own.
Some kindred Spirit shall inquire my fate, etc. In his summary chapter, Brooks articulates his position that it is “heresy” to paraphrase a poem when trying to get at its meaning.