What makes John Donne a metaphysical poet? Refer to "The Sun Rising" and "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" for evidence.

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Samuel Johnson, who coined the term "metaphysical" to describe seventeenth-century poets like John Donne, wrote that they "yoke" unlikely comparisons (metaphors) together. They like to startle us with their ingenious ideas and images. Not for them are the standard Renaissance metaphors comparing a beloved to a beautiful red rose.

In "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning," Donne startles us with an unusual metaphor to describe two lovers. He compares them to a drawing compass, a tool that enables...

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