Andrew Marvell’s poem titled “On a Drop of Dew” is a work that helps explain why Marvell (1621-78) is often considered a “metaphysical” poet, even though he lived much later than such writers as John Donne (1572-1631) and George Herbert (1593-1633), who are normally considered the first “metaphysical” writers. As the term implies, “metaphysical” poets are frequently thought of as writers for whom philosophical ideas were at least as important as strong emotions. Indeed, T. S. Eliot, the great twentieth-century poet, praised the metaphysical authors as writers who could...
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