Who are three metaphysical poets, and are Milton and Spenser metaphysical poets?
The metaphysical poets (17th century, British), who were not all aware of each other or aware of forming a metaphysical school, all shared certain characteristics as a result of the changes in science and society which reflected the way they looked at the world. The metaphysical poets used metaphors and metaphysical conceit (elaborate, extended metaphor of specialized kind, even when talking about natural or earthly things. Thus, they wrote poetry on earthly things but in abstract or other than physical (meta means above) terms, often with spiritual themes. Also they would write on souls, spirits, ideals and abstracts, such as love, and their relation to the physical world.
It may be that Descartes had an influence on these poets since they were all contemporaries. But he was a mathematician and philosopher...
(The entire section contains 395 words.)
check Approved by eNotes Editorial