What is a Metaphysical Poem? Free Essay Example

April 13, 2022 by Essay Writer

Metaphysical poetry

There are many definitions of Metaphysical poetry. “Metaphysical” when applied to poetry usually involves Love, Science, Geology, Romance, Sensuality and man’s relationship with God. Metaphysical poems are lyrical poems usually containing intense meditations, characterized by striking use of wit, irony, and play on words. Underneath the formal structure is the underlying structure of the poet’s argument. Metaphysical poetry usually contains conceits, which is an image which you extend, which you develop; an extended metaphor.

The Metaphysical poetry follows the structure of a strong first line; these “strong lines” brings attention to other elements in metaphysical poetry.

The term is used in connection with prose as well as with verse and so invites us to look at metaphysical poetry in a wider context. At the time Metaphysical poetry’s definition was ‘An equal of ideas yoked by violence together. ‘ However, it is very… … worms eating up his wife; both of the images have the idea of decomposition.

The speaker also said he would use hundreds of years to praise his lover’s different body parts, and such expression only implies their lack of time.

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Let us roll all our strength and all our sweetness up into one. ” Marvel has very cleverly used the urgency in the poem to apply to time and sexual activity. There is an image of someone who is toothless and this represents time. The end of the poem used monosyllabic words “Yet we will make him run” and this is a common characteristic of a metaphysical poem.

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In many of Marvell’s poems we find the same eight syllable iambic line, yet its effect can vary remarkably. The vigorousness of the argument appears in the breathless lines.

Few lines are end-stopped, and the lines have rough power of speech. In addition, Marvell manages to marry a syllogistic framework with a passionate poem of seduction. The second poem is written by John Donne “Elegie: To his Mistress going to Bed. ” The beginning of this poem is a classic sign of a metaphysical poem; it has a very strong and dramatic opening. It contains images of war and has alternative images all the way through, this is classic of a metaphysical poem.

The subject is then changed to astronomy; Donne is talking about a “Geocentric universe. He also uses a cliche from pastoral poetry, ” Flowery meeds th’ hills shadow steales. ” The similarities in the metaphysical poems that focus on religion is that poets often stretch the boundaries of what would have been acceptable at that time. Donne even says sexual intercourse is the same as religion, which would have been seem as blasphemy. Another, common characteristic of a metaphysical poem is constant puns running parallel with the subject matter. In this poem Doone is using puns in conjunction with religion.

He also used many prepositions in one sentence in order to give effect; what I mean by that is, in one sentence Donne writes: “Behind, before, above, between, below. ” These prepositions are short and sharp words, just like the actions. Usually the Metaphysical poets deal with many different subjects in their poems, Donne has done just this. He compacts geography, religion, warfare, sex, and geometry; there is even a reference to Spain. Metaphysical poetry usually contains Paradoxes and cliches.

Doone uses a cliche is this poem when using religion, he says “As souls unbodied, bodies uncloth’d must bee. What Donne is telling the reader is when you die you go to heaven and if your clothes are removed they will go as well. Another cliche Donne uses is ” Like pictures, or like book gay coverings made” this basically says “never judge a book by its over” always look at what is inside. Most Metaphysical poetry has caesurae balancing some lines. Donne has even used a hidden triple pun; he has linked the idea f law, geography, religion and sex. Finally, “The Flea” By John Donne, which is one of his most playful poems.

In this poem Donne has separated the thinking between arts and sciences which is called ‘Disassociation of Sensibility. ” Donne has used unusual images, which have been extended and extended; this is called a conceit. It is not normal to write about a ‘flea’ especially not a love poem about a man and a woman. The poet has used a strong line to begin, which is usual structure for a Metaphysical poem. The brilliant use of logic in this poem reflects the characteristics of a Metaphysical poem. The Conceit gets blown out pf proportion more and more; it also becomes more bizarre.

Two people being married as a flea is quite a strange concept. However, the poet goes on to explain the bizarre nature of the poem. Donne explains that there are “3 Lives in one flea. ” However, common for this type of poetry, the poem does a sudden turn around. The flea becomes a beautiful, weightless object. Donne uses another common characteristic of Metaphysical poetry, he is ‘over-doing’ the melo-drama and using an alliteration: ‘false, fears bee. ‘ The final line finishes the poem in the typical way in which all of the Metaphysical poems end this is with monosyllabic words.

The final line is about honour, which has very little to do with the rest of the poem it is false logic, yet emphatic. This is common structure for a Metaphysical poem, finishing with a complete change of direction in the argument. So to summarize, Metaphysical poetry can involve love, science and religion. Usually this follows a structure of beginning with a powerful line to start and prolonging the conceit all the way through the poem. Marvell uses this particularly technique quite often, drawing upon philosophy to illustrate his argument and giving the poem an intellectual


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