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Wilkes examines Brennan's prose in order to describe the philosophical foundations behind the ideas expressed in the poetry. Proceeding from the pragmatist philosophy of Schiller, James and Myers, Brennan replaces metaphysics with self-consciousness and situates his Edenic state within the mind. Wilkes concludes that a symbolist aesthetic is not the key to understanding Poems. Most interest lies in Brennan's elaboration of those ideas into an expression of a human aspiration to perfect beauty.