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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The Well Wrought Urn

They are rich, and some of them are intricate. Pope acknowledges its beauty and its power.

So sweet a kiss the golden sun gives not To those fresh morning drops upon the rose, As thy eye-beams, when their fresh rays have smote The night of dew that on my cheeks down flows: The essay, by udn way, should be read in entirety and for its own sake: This last point is very pertinent to the argument which the following stanzas make: Because literary tastes change so much over time, it seems reasonable to the historicist to evaluate each urm according to the standards of his own age.

We have tried to see what its relation to each is. The principle of rich indirection applies run to the individual word. Both Mirth and Melancholy are solitary, silent inhabitants of the breast, that neither receive nor transmit communi- cation; no mention is therefore made of a philosophical friend, or a pleasant companion.

He first makes his Heroine the chief Priestess, then the Goddess herself. After the Fall has taken place, Michael is sent to prepare Adam for his expulsion from the happy garden. The urns are not meant for memorial purposes only, though that often seems to be their chief significance to the professors of clenath.


Or is it possible brookd Shakespeare could not make up his own mind? And hurled his glistring beames through gloomy aire. Because she is filled with an unconscious sympathy for all of nature, not merely the grandiose and solemn.

Yeatss Great Rooted Blossomer. Her rationalism is quite sincere. There is, of course, no reason why they should not occur together, and they do.

The Well Wrought Urn – Wikipedia

Beaus banish Beaus, and Coaches Coaches drive. When the symbol is revived at the end of the poem, even though in somewhat different guise, the effect is powerful; for the poet has made the little globule of moisture come to stand for the brief beauty of youth. It is the experience which the cosmetic advertisers take at a level of dead seriousness, and obviously Pope is amused to have it taken seriously.

Actually, it would be a poor rehabili- tation which, if exalting Donne above all his fellow poets, in fact succeeded in leaving him quite as much isolated from the rest of them as he was before.

Where more is meant wrougjt meets the ear. Was Gray actually conscious of such a purpose? A more important and brilliant example of such irony occurs in the eleventh stanza. The last line goes on to suggest the essentially ironical observation that there can be no real Cleqnth with- out blood-guilt. In the same way, the tired old metaphor which sees a great city as cleamth pulsat- ing heart of empire becomes revivified.


It is not the end of a naive illusion. That is why the stale metaphor of the sleeping houses is strangely renewed. In glittring Dust and painted Fragments lie! There is nothing in the rest of the poem that suggests humour — at least of the bur- lesque sort. The implication is that the poet himself recognizes the absurdity of the Petrarchan love metaphors.

From Cleanth Brooks, The Well-Wrought Urn, ch

For example, Banquo says to the Weird Sisters, early in the play: Any broojs to view it sub specie aeternitatis, we feel, must result in illusion. But this is scarcely a conclusion that is flattering to the antagonists of modern poetry. PREFACE Most of the chapters of this book have been published as separate essays; but I offer it to the reader, not as a miscellaneous collection, but as a book, a book with a defined objective and a deliberate plan. But let me alone. He usually prefers the direct attack.

The obser- vation becomes ironical only in terms of what is to occur later. But there must be no mistake as to what is going on: The comparison to the phoenix seems thus merely another outlandish one, the most outrageous of all.