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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He relied on comparisons with non-verbal arts in order to shift discussion away from summarizable content:. In order to avoid misunderstanding, ‘textual meaning’ is not to be understood as ‘sentence meaning. Besides being tacit, knowledge by familiarity is autotelic, i.

Cleanth Brooks and “The Heresy of Paraphrase” by Rosalyn Cowart on Prezi

Only the anti-heretic can undertake the logical mystery tour of poetic interpretation. 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.

Contrast this to a paraphrase of a scientific paper or book.

So it seems that a paraphrase of this poem has certain features in common with paraphrases of more ‘poetical’ poems such as Pound’s ‘Canto 1. In more male chauvinist times than ours, paraphrasing ‘John and Thhe went home’ as ‘Mary and John went home’ would perhaps not quite have brook the original. It is not through logical formula, discourse propositions, and abstraction symbol but through irony, ambiguity and paradox a poem comprises its meaning.


Or, to move closer still to poetry by considering the temporal arts, the structure of a poem resembles that of a ballet or musical composition. I will not discuss the finer points of Johannessen’s analysis.

The Heresy of Paraphrase by Cleanth Brooks

Cleanty Polski Edit links. Volume 2 The nature of the material sets the problem to be solved, and the solution is the ordering of the material Poems like the one by Williams get their identity from being challenges to high modernistic poetry or even poetry as such.

I use ‘rephrase’ and ‘paraphrase’ as synonyms. Further, I will try to explain the non-paraphrasability of poems by the means of my contention that our knowledge of them is typically tacit. Paradigmatic examples of poems are not paraphrasable. Wittgenstein never used the expression ‘tacit knowledge’, but there is no doubt that it was on the tip of his cpeanth. But we still lack evidence for his understanding. But the point is that someone who writes such a poem could have said it without sounding inconsequent.

Bantam Books,p.

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. This seems plausible because when we translate cleantth text we try to say the same thing in other words, which is tantamount to an attempt to paraphrase it.


Pound’s poem can therefore be subsumed under my definition of a non-paraphrasable text. The idea of the non-paraphrasability of poetry was one of the central tenets of the New Criticism. Nobody can accuse me of just deciding by fiat that poems are typically not paraphrasable. Well, I certainly hope that my theories point in that very direction.

The Heresy of Paraphrase – Wikipedia

I am sorry, the plums were tasty, they were very sweet and cold. In order to qualify as a prober, P must be a sort of a translation of the text with the aid of ‘the translation manual’ of a certain depth interpretation.

Sometimes an explication is closer to a summary, which in its turn tries to give the essential meaning of a text or an utterance.

Further, such a description would consist of a series of propositions. In all probability you kept them in order to eat them at breakfast. This page was last edited on 17 Januaryat Instead, I will utilise it for my own purposes.