Literary Movement: Metaphysical Poetry

Topic: LifeSelf Assessment
Sample donated:
Last updated: December 6, 2019
Metaphysical Poetry
17th century English poetic mode that often exhibits introspective meditations and on love, death, God and human frailty.

John Donne
(1572- 1631) “A Valediction Forbidding Morning”; ” The Sun Rising”; “Death Be Not Proud – Holy Sonnet X”; “Woman’s Constancy”; “Love’s Alchemy”

George Herbert
(1593-1633) “Easter Wings”; “The Collar”; “Jordan (I)”; Love (III)”; “The Windows”

Andrew Marvell
(1621-1678) “The Mower’s Song”; “The MOwer to the Glow-Worms”; “The Mower Against Gardens”; “The Garden”; “To His Coy Mistress”

Key Notes about Metaphysical Poetry
Contains wit, Irony and paradox. Pairs dissimilar objects into the service of a clever, ironic analogy or paradoxical conceit; Elaborate stylistic maneuvers (ornamental conceits, dazzling rhymes); Huge shifts in scale (comparing an ant to a comet); usually talk about deep philosophical issues such as the passage of time; the difficulty of ever being sure of any one thing; the uneasy relationship of human beings to each other and God; the obsessive qualities that death often inspires in human consciousness. Beauty is found in the dramatic unfolding of that truth through irony, conceits, and scale shifts.

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