Cleanth Brooks

Cleanth Brooks (October 16, 1906—May 10, 1994) was an American literary critic and professor, best known for his publications, The Well Wrought Urn: Studies in the Structure of Poetry (1947) and Modern Poetry and the Tradition (1939). Brooks is said to have revolutionized the teaching of poetry in American higher education and was also a prominent critic of Southern literature as well as the co-founder of The Southern Review.

Nonfiction

Winter 1964

W. H. Auden as a Critic

By Cleanth Brooks

Auden is pre-eminently the poet of civilization. He loves landscapes, to be sure, and confesses that his favorite is the rather austere landscape of the north of England, but over […]

Book Reviews

Autumn 1953

Recovering Milton

By Cleanth Brooks

Answerable Style: Essays on Paradise Lost by Arnold Stein. University of Minnesota Press. $3.50. Like the fixed stars, the great poets are there all the time. It is not they […]

Book Reviews

Fall 1952

Hits and Misses

By Cleanth Brooks

The Structure of Complex Words by William Empson. New Directions. $5.00 This is the most mixed-up book that Empson has written to date. It makes excursions into linguistics, semantics, the […]

My Credo: A Symposium of Critics (Continued)

Winter 1951

V. The Formalist Critics

By Cleanth Brooks

MY CREDO’ (continued) Here are some articles of faith I could subscribe to: That literary criticism is a description and an evaluation of its object. That the primary concern of […]

Book Reviews

Spring 1942

Form and Content

By Cleanth Brooks

The Double Man by W. H. Auden. Random House. $2.00 Selected Poems by John Peale Bishop. Scribners. $2.00   The collocation of these two books tempts one to propose classifications: […]

Book Reviews

Summer 1939

Poet or Sage?

By Cleanth Brooks

Collected Poems. By Robert Frost. Henry Holt. $5.00 The publication of Mr. Robert Frost’s Collected Poems provides an appropriate occasion for making an estimate of Mr. Frost’s rank and importance […]