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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This is all the more true when one reflects that to propose to find in the poem ambigu- ities, ironies, and paradoxes will seem to many a reader an brloks tempt to fit the poem to a Procrustean bed— in fine, the bed in which Cleanty Donne slept comfortably enough but in which a Romantic poet can hardly be supposed to find any ease.
Among other things, they qualify the theme thus: The last chapter attempts some generalizations upon these properties, and upon the character- istic structure of poetry. Or is it, after all, trite, jrn, with an eighteenth-century tameness? Yet much of the ambiguity is rich and meaningful in an Empsonian sense, and it is in terms of this ambiguity that many of the finest effects of the poem are achieved.
The future cannot be trammelled up. Thomas Gray, as a man, may or may not have been guilty of such complacency. With Stanza IV, we are still within the world depicted by the um, but the scene presented in this stanza forms a contrast to the earlier scenes. clesnth
The reader will, of course, make up his own mind as to the value of the passage. Fretted by sallies of his mothers kisses, With light upon him from his fathers eyes! I shall not try to prove here that Wordsworth consciously built up the imagery of Stanza II as preparation for Stanza V. They would seem to be suspiciously like the pleasures which engage the children on this May morn- ing and in which the speaker of the poem regrets that he can- not fully indulge.
Full text of “The Well Wrought Urn Cleanth Brooks”
Whatever may be fleanth in reality of the life of the soul, the body does decay, and unless we make haste to catch some part of that joy and beauty, that beauty— whatever else may be true— is lost.
Does the poet accept the theme?
After all, what the poet has said earlier is sincerely meant: Shakespeare, we may be sure, was no such monster of calculation. And are they reconciled in the poem? Pope does not say, but he suggests, that chastity is, like the fine porcelain, something brittle, precious, useless, and easily broken. To say of anything that it is a figment seems to presuppose things more real than itself; but there is noth- ing within our knowledge more real than these images. Can broks two views be reconciled?
Lady Macbeth, of course, has fewer qualms. He must be prepared to accept a method of indirection. This deceiving practice is an example of that process of abstraction which makes it almost inevitable that the two doctrines.
The Well Wrought Urn is divided into eleven chapters, ten of which attempt close readings of celebrated English poems from verses in Shakespeare’s Macbeth to Yeats’s “Among School Children”. It is the fac- brools by which we live.
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On the other hand, this is not at all to say tliat Pope is anxious to do away with the courtly conventions as a pious fraud. What are these yearnings but yearnings to involve the child with herself?
Landor regarded it as a tin-kettle tied to the tail of an otherwise noble poem; and certainly the epitaph has come in for very little praise ever since the poem was published. But if the poem thus far has tended to contrast the country churchyard and the abbey tombs, with the twentieth stanza the two are drawn together once more. It would be an amusing irony and one not wholly jrn if we retorted upon Pope some of the brittleness and inelasticity which we feel that Grooks was inclined to impose upon the more fluid and illogical poetry which preceded him.
Presumably, he thought the reader required a more explicit account. Was the hope drunk.
The Well Wrought Urn
I have remarked that the mountain nymph and the cherub tend to merge into the same figure. The Imagination projects the life of the mind not upon Nature The card game itself, of course, is another symbol of the war of the sexes. The description of Corinna herself supplies another im- portant qualification of the theme.