Metaphysical Poetry

What is metaphysical poetry?

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Jessica Akcinar | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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Metaphysical poetry, a term coined by Samuel Johnson, has its roots in 17th-century England. This type of poetry is witty, ingenious, and highly philosophical. It topics included love, life and existence. It used literary elements of similes, metaphors, imagery, paradoxes, conceit, and far-fetched views of reality.

John Donne is regarded as the “leading poet” of this highly intellectual form of poetry. Donne was influenced by the belief that the precision of beauty in the adored (loved one) behaved as a commemoration of ideal beauty in the everlasting kingdom (heaven). He also used unconventional and colloquial rhythm and tone, which was highly contrary to the Elizabethan poetry style.

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mohitsharma | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

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First we should pay our attention the word 'Metaphysical'.

It is made of 2 words 'meta' - beyond and 'physical' - our sorroundings means such artificial world.

Thus the combine sense in association with poetry is - The Poetry that is having a particular sense that is beyond this artificial world. It means Heavenly / Spritual / Intllectual thought.

For Example - to talk about mourning on a sapration from belovit is a worldly thought but to talk about an inner satisfaction is of soul's connection (either the bodies are united or not) is a thought beyond this corporal world.

Metaphysical Poetry

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cappuccinolivanto | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

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features wit, a conceit and an argument of some sort. For example, Donne's 'The Flea' compares the lovers' union with a flea, cleverly developing his argument throughout the poem. The concept of platonic and courtly love also feature strongly in metaphysical poetry.

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dankilicious | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

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 A highly intellectual form of poetry developed at somepoint during the 17th century.  John Donne was considered the first metaphysical poet.

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kayleigh141094 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

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Metaphysical Poetry explores the abstract, emotions, thoughts, feelings, ideas, spiritual things etc. basically things you cant touch.

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wattersr | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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When one uses the term Metaphysics, they are usually referring to something spiritual; something you can't touch, something beyond this world.  I suppose Metaphysical poetry is not what one would call "down to Earth" poetry, but poetry dealing with unearthly, spiritual concepts and the unknown.  (I'm no professor on the subject though)

An example might be a poem dealing with what happens after death, the eternal soul, other dimensions, ect

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