Who is included among the metaphysical and devotional poets of the 17th century and why?

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ahampton36 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Metaphysical poets often included themes of spirituality and the human soul in their works. Metaphysics involves the combination of spiritual, mystical themes and science. Many of these poets were preachers or somehow associated with church leadership.

For example, Andrew Marvell is considered a 17th century metaphysical poet. His popular poem, "To His Coy Mistress" included themes of life, death, and the finite nature of human existence.

John Donne was a preacher and is also considered a metaphysical poet. He often used interesting metaphors to represent and question human existence. For example, the flea in his poem, "The Flea" questions the couple it bites about their relationship.

Thirdly,  George Herbert was a priest that wrote directly of God and love in a metaphysical way.