Abstract I try to rejuvenate Cleanth Brooks’s old thesis about the ‘heresy of paraphrase.’ This I do by analysing a couple of well-known poems and by performing. which Mr. Cleanth Brooks has called “the heresy of paraphrase.” What Mr. Bowra does, and does very well, is to give us what the poet talks about in so far as it. “the poem, if it be a true poem, is a simulacrum of reality by being an experience rather than any mere statement about experience or any.

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Only the anti-heretic can undertake the logical mystery tour of poetic interpretation. Take a look at the following example, a poem by William Carlos Williams:.

Heresy of paraphrase

If it turns out that it were not the case, that fact would weaken my defence of the non-paraphrasability of typical poems. If we say “your skin is white” for black people it creates verbal irony. Its rhythm, style, sound, images, emotional flavour and intellectual aspects, the denotations and connotations of its words, and even its content and graphic aspects, are inseparable.

The reason is that there could have been a convention saying that a man’s name must be mentioned first because herezy are more important than females. The idea of the herfsy of poetry was one of the central tenets of the New Criticism. So rephrasing a scientific text is probably more rewarding than paraphrasing a poem, a fact that ought to count in favour of the thesis of heresy. No, not at all. But the point is that someone who writes such a poem could have cleantj it without sounding inconsequent.

Rephrasing these lines, and for that matter the whole poem, while not easy, does not seem impossible.

What he did deny is that a paraphrase can replace a poem or capture its essence. Certainly, many poems contain propositions that are easily rephrased, but we must not mistake them for the inner core of these poems.


The Heresy of Paraphrase

Brooks says that irony is the chief organizing principle that creates structure of a poem. Therefore, this is an adequate reworder, given my stipulation. Can we test the theory if we cannot paraphrase it, for instance ,if we think that its original formulation is not clear enough for testing? And when we explicate a text we try to make it easier to understand by using a different set of words to say the same thing but in a clearer manner.

The Heresy of Paraphrase by Cleanth Brooks

Doubleday,paraphraes. Anybody knowledgeable about William Carlos Williams knows that he himself would never have said such a thing. Contrast this to a paraphrase of a scientific paper or book. In the first place, it seems intuitively strange to maintain that utterances like ‘John and Mary went home’ as uttered in workaday circumstances are not really paraphrasable or that they are as difficult to paraphrase as poems by T.

Actually, my theory about the tacit nature of our understanding of poetry gives my analysis the virtue of testability. If this is the case, then form and content cannot be separated in any clear-cut manner, so abstracting the content the message from the poem is a risky and none too rewarding business.

A prosaic text can be improved with the aid of a paraphrase, but a typical poem cannot.

Heresy of paraphrase | philosophy |

It is almost as if the American poet were teasing us by implicitly saying, ‘Look, I have presented this text in a poetic form, therefore it is a poem, since poetry has no essential nature. Volume 2 Bantam Books,p. Let us look at another possible world example: Thus, a proposition like John Keats’s ‘Beauty is Truth, Truth is Beauty’ gets its heresj meaning and significance from its relation to the total context of the poem.

And who says that such depth interpretations are always useful? Dramatic irony is paraphrasee through a person who involves in action but does not know what is going on him but the audiences know. Thus, we have strengthened or foundations of Brooks’s original thesis. Brooks tbe two types of irony: I try to rejuvenate Cleanth Brooks’s old thesis about the ‘heresy of paraphrase.


By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. This concludes my brolks of the nature of a typical poem.

Retrieved from ” https: For yeresy information please contact mpub-help umich. So whatever lack of merit my arguments might have, I am not moving in vicious circles. It is a structure of gesture and attitude, it is wrapped in emotions, and it has its own poetic universe constituting its romantic structure.

This means that if my earlier description of the typical features of poems is correct and Williams’s poem is a typical example of a p. To be sure there are important differences between the grasping of a poem and the perception of a face. The wind was blowing our way, so the ship sailed rather quickly. It is actually an open question as to whether we can make changes to a poem without having created a new one. It is one’s failure to recognize the poem as a poem.

By ‘paraphrase of a poem’ I mean ‘a prosaic non-poetic rewording of a poem. I think that the deeper explanation for the non-rephrasability of typical poems is that our understanding of them is basically tacit. Paradigmatic examples of poems are not paraphrasable.

In or cases, we would have no problem identifying the nature of the object of the paraphrase. He did not deny that poems could be paraphrased up to a point, or that such a paraphrase can be useful in some contexts.

Instead, I will utilise it for my own purposes.

Add to this the fact that a host of people in our world would flatly deny that Williams’s text is a poem but rather see it as a piece of everyday discourse, undeservedly called ‘a poem.