The Earthen Goblet Summary

“The Earthen Goblet” poem’s central themes of transformation, loss, and identity. The poet’s personification of the goblet and his contrast between its natural and artificial states create a sense of intrigue and anticipation for the rest of the poem.

The Earthen Goblet Summary

Earthen Goblet images

In this poem the poet conversed with the earthen goblet. The poet tried to bring out the misery that had been faced by the goblet in the process of becoming a goblet. The goblet was red in colour from its top to bottom. The poet expressed his sympathy for the goblet. He asked the goblet how it felt when he was being turned round and round up on the potter’s wheel before the potter made it. The goblet felt a conscious impulse in its clay to break away from the potter’s hand. It burnt so warm that it suffered very much to get into its present form.

The goblet became a prisoner on the potter’s wheel and was shaped into his dark red coloured goblet-sleep. It thought that the time when it was on the wheel was most deadly. The goblet had the fragrant friendship of a little flower whose root was buried deep in its heart when it was in the form of clay. The potter drew out the living breath of the clay and gave it the shape of deadly goblet. The goblet thought that its past unshapely natural stage (the clay) was best with just one flower flaming through its breast. The goblet didn’t like its present shape.


The Earthen Goblet’s response to the poet’s question and the poet’s lament both convey a sense of loss and longing for the goblet’s natural state. The conclusion paragraph also leaves the reader with a sense of reflection on the nature of transformation and the importance of staying true to one’s true identity.