Essays on the metaphysical poets

We see in Herbert a poet who although essentially derivative of Donne, used the medium of Metaphysical poetry for a sincere exploration of his own faith, and in doing so broadened the scope of the genre to allow the poet a more personal approach than that apparent in Donne, an approach which was in turn taken up by Henry Vaughan.

A philosophical theory which has entered into poetry is established, for its truth or falsity in one sense ceases to matter, and its truth in another sense is proved. The feeling, the sensibility, expressed in the Country Churchyard to say nothing of Tennyson and Browning is cruder than that in the Coy Mistress.

Let him be rich and wearie, then at least, If goodness leade him not. The "courtly" poetry is derivative from Jonson, who borrowed liberally from the Latin; it expires in the next century with the sentiment and witticism of Prior.

Here we find at least two connexions which are not implicit in the first figure, but are forced upon it by the poet: O pressoirs Des vendanges des grands soirs. Herbert occasionally explores his doubts in intellectual terms, but answers them with emotion.

We need not select for illustration such a line as: John Ruskin settled in the house Brantwoodoverlooking Coniston Waterinaged 48, having visited the Lakes many times previously.

A Brief Guide to Metaphysical Poets Posted May 19, The term "metaphysical," as applied to English and continental European poets of the seventeenth century, was used by Augustan poets John Dryden and Samuel Johnson to reprove those poets for their "unnaturalness.

If so shrewd and sensitive though so limited a critic as Johnson failed to define metaphysical poetry by its faults, it is worth while to inquire whether we may not have more success by adopting the opposite method: On his deathbed, he handed his poems to a friend with the request that they be published only if they might aid "any dejected poor soul.

Coleridge moved out of the area in We doubt whether, in the eighteenth century, could be found two poems in nominally the same metre, so dissimilar as Marvell's Coy Mistress and Crashaw's Saint Teresa; the one producing an effect of great speed by the use of short syllables, and the other an ecclesiastical solemnity by the use of long ones: In addition, many of the first and second generation practitioners of Romantic poetry had a complex and not entirely easy relationship with the Lakes apart from Wordsworth.

Each minute is a short degree, And evry houre a step towards thee.


Love, thou art absolute sole lord Of life and death. Herbert implies that in religion reason can never be enough; faith, which fills the unknown, is the only answer.

This said, in her uplifted face, Her eyes, which did that beauty crown, Were like two starrs, that having faln down, Look up again to find their place: Prolong that battle through his life.

They have been enough praised in terms which are implicit limitations because they are "metaphysical" or "witty," "quaint" or "obscure," though at their best they have not these attributes more than other serious poets. They are simple, artificial, difficult, or fantastic, as their predecessors were; no less nor more than Dante, Guido Cavalcanti, Guinizelli, or Cino.

At night when I betake to rest, Next morn I rise nearer my West Of life, almost by eight houres sail, Than when sleep breath'd his drowsy gale. The latter falls in love, or reads Spinoza, and these two experiences have nothing to do with each other, or with the noise of the typewriter or the smell of cooking; in the mind of the poet these experiences are always forming new wholes.

He disliked change that flew in the face of Nature: Each of these men performed certain poetic functions so magnificently well that the magnitude of the effect concealed the absence of others.

Official resource for T. S. Eliot

After this brief exposition of a theory--too brief, perhaps, to carry conviction--we may ask, what would have been the fate of the "metaphysical" had the current of poetry descended in a direct line from them, as it descended in a direct line to them. He feels humility before God and Jesus, but seems to despise humanity.

English Literature Essays

Johnson, who employed the term "metaphysical poets," apparently having Donne, Cleveland, and Cowley chiefly in mind, remarks of them that "the most heterogeneous ideas are yoked by violence together. The question is to what extent the so-called metaphysicals formed a school in our own time we should say a "movement"and how far this so-called school or movement is a digression from the main current.

In the seventeenth century a dissociation of sensibility set in, from which we have never recovered; and this dissociation, as is natural, was aggravated by the influence of the two most powerful poets of the century, Milton and Dryden.

When a poet's mind is perfectly equipped for its work, it is constantly amalgamating disparate experience; the ordinary man's experience is chaotic, irregular, fragmentary. Vaughan, in contrast, has the arrogance of a visionary. And in one of the finest poems of the age a poem which could not have been written in any other agethe Exequy of Bishop King, the extended comparison is used with perfect success: He lived near Windermere between and and knew the older Lake Poet trio well.

In reading the celebrated passage in his essay on Cowley we must remember that by wit he clearly means something more serious than we usually mean today; in his criticism of their versification we must remember in what a narrow discipline he was trained, but also how well trained; we must remember that Johnson tortures chiefly the chief offenders, Cowley and Cleveland.

Herbert puts less emphasis on conceits, exotic imagery, and ingenious thought, and looks to another source for stylistic inspiration - the Bible, or, more specifically, the language of Christ and the Parables.

Metaphysical Poets The term metaphysical poets was coined by the poet and critic Samuel Johnson to describe a loose group of British lyric poets of the 17th century, whose work was characterized by the inventive use of conceits, and by speculation about topics such as love or religion.

The metaphysical poets were a loose group of British lyric poets of the 17th century, who shared an interest in metaphysical concerns and a common way of investigating them, and whose work was characterised by inventiveness of metaphor (these involved comparisons being known as metaphysical conceits) - Metaphysical Poet Essay introduction.

A Brief Guide to Metaphysical Poets

These poets were not formally affiliated; most of. I'm a real fan of Eliot's poetry -- but I found myself bogged down in his essays on Victorian and earlier poetry.

Metaphysical poet

I should've gone into this with a more open mindset. In his essay "The Metaphysical Poets," T. S. Eliot, in particular, saw in this group of poets a capacity for "devouring all kinds of experience." Donne ( – ) was the most influential metaphysical poet.

English Literature Essays, literary criticism on many authors, links to internet resources and bookshop.

There is nothing in these lines (with the possible exception of the stars, a simile not at once grasped, but lovely and justified) which fits Johnson's general observations on the metaphysical poets in his essay .

Essays on the metaphysical poets
Rated 4/5 based on 70 review
English Literature Essays Resources Links & Books