“The general point, of course, is not that either poetry or drama makes no use of ideas, or that either is ‘merely emotional’–whatever that is–or that there is not the closest and most important relationship between the intellectual materials which they absorb into their structure(,) and other elements in the structure. The relationship between the intellectual and the non-intellectual elements in a poem is actually far more intimate than the conventional accounts would represent it to be: the relationship is not that of an idea ‘wrapped in emotion’ or a ‘prose-sense decorated by sensuous imagery.’
“The dimension in which the poem moves is not one which excludes ideas, but one which does include attitudes. The dimension includes ideas, to be sure; we can always abstract an ‘idea’ from a poem–even from the simplest poem–even from a lyric so simple and unintellectual as:
Western wind, when wilt thou blow
That the small rain down can rain?
Christ, that my love were in my arms
And I in my bed again
Anonymous circa 15th Century
“But the idea which we abstract–assuming that we can all agree on what that idea is–will always be abstracted: it will always be the projection of a plane along a line or the projection of a cone upon a plane.” – Cleanth Brooks
Firstly, I have Cleanth Brooks describing poetry that’s pleasing to the ear, or generally pleasant poetry, as unintellectual.
Secondly, I have to take time to explore the meaning of “abstracted.”
Thirdly, I have to try and identify with and relate to Brooks’s analogy of ideas and dimension.
Lastly, I have to identify the purpose of, and then justify/validate the reason why this dimensional analogy helps me to read and understand poetry in a way that may be better or worse than how I read poetry in the first place.
The fun is piling up over here kiddos…