Metaphysical Poetry Terms

Topics: EnvironmentNature

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Last updated: November 26, 2019

Metaphysical
transcending physical matter or the laws of nature

Arcane
known or understood by very few; mysterious; secret; obscure; esoteric

Derogatory
tending to lessen the merit or reputation of a person or thing; disparaging; depreciatory

Conventional
conforming or adhering to accepted standards, as of conduct or taste

Conventions
the way in which something is usually done

Lyric
(of poetry) having the form and musical quality of a song, and especially the character of a songlike outpouring of the poet’s own thoughts and feelings, as distinguished from epic and dramatic poetry

Iambic Pentameter
a common meter in poetry consisting of an unrhymed line with five feet or accents, each foot containing an unaccented syllable and an accented syllable

Conceit
an elaborate, fanciful metaphor, especially of a strained or far-fetched nature

Metaphysical Conceit
(in literature) an extended metaphor with complex logic that governs a poetic passage or entire poem

Petrarchan Conceit
a hyperbolic comparison that was popular with Renaissance sonnet writers most often made by a suffering lover of his beautiful mistress to some physical object

Profound
demanding deep study or thought

Meditations
the action or practice of meditating

Wit
mental sharpness and inventiveness; keen intelligences

Irony
a technique of indicating, as through character or plot development, an intention or attitude opposite to that which is actually or ostensibly stated

Wordplay
clever or subtle repartee; verbal wit; a play on words; pun

Stanza
an arrangement of a certain number of lines, usually four or more, sometimes having a fixed length, meter, or rhyme scheme, forming a division of a poem

Explicit
fully and clearly expressed or demonstrated; leaving nothing merely implied; unequivocal

Stalking horse
anything put forward to mask plans or effort; pretext

Transitory
not lasting, enduring, permanent or eternal; lasting only a short time; brief; short-lived; temporary

Levity
lightness of mind, character or behavior; lack of appropriate seriousness or earnestness; an instance of exhibition of this

Intent
something that is intended; purpose; design; intention; meaning or significance

Virtuous
conforming to moral and ethical principles; morally excellent; upright; chaste

Desecration
to treat a sacred thing with violent disrespect

Profanation
the act of profaning; desecration; defilement; debasement

Laity
(the regular people) the body of religious worshipers, as distinguished from the clergy; the people outside of a particular profession, as distinguished from those belonging to it

Trepidation
tremulous fear, alarm, or agitation; perturbation; trembling or quivering movement; tremor

Sublunary
situated beneath the moon or between the earth and the moon; characteristic of or pertaining to the earth; terrestrial; mundane or worldly

Portentous
of or like a portent (Portent: a sign or warning that something, esp. something momentous or calamitous, is likely to happen)

Persona
the narrator of or a character in a literary work, sometimes identified with the author

Sensuous
perceived by or affecting the senses

Immediacy
the state, condition, or quality of being immediate

Courtly
polite, refined, or elegant

Off-hand
at once, straightway

Licentious
going beyond customary or proper bounds or limits; disregarding rules

Epigrammatic
of or like an epigram; terse and ingenious in expressionkkp

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