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Metaphysical poetry. “The Metaphysical Poets are known for their ability to startle the reader and coax new perspectives through paradoxical images, subtle argument, inventive syntax, and imagery from art, philosophy, and religion” and by using metaphysical conceits (Academy of American Poets).

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Metaphysical poetry


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    1. Metaphysical poetry “The Metaphysical Poets are known for their ability to startle the reader and coax new perspectives through paradoxical images, subtle argument, inventive syntax, and imagery from art, philosophy, and religion” and by using metaphysical conceits (Academy of American Poets)

    2. Metaphysical poetry Metaphysical poets “constantly connect the abstract with the concrete, the remote with the near, and the sublime with the commonplace” --Joan Bennett in Four Metaphysical Poets 3

    3. Metaphysical poetry They show a detachment from an experience that was deeply felt in order “to be intellectually aware of its intricacy” (Bennett 5).

    4. Metaphysical poetry The work of the metaphysical poets is characterized by “sustained dialectic, paradox, novelty, incongruity, ‘muscular’ rhythms, giving the effect of a ‘speaking voice,’ and the use of ‘conceits,’ or comparisons in which tenor and vehicle can be related only through ingenious pseudo-logic” (Drabble 368)

    5. Metaphysical poetry The poems often are skeptical about the relationship between reason and God (does it cause us to move away from Him?) but nevertheless, he is willing to use all available tools as he “struggle[s] to comprehend and to verbalize the nature of secular and sacred love” (Crowley 81)

    6. Metaphysical poetry Focuses on reality rather than idealized lover Subject matter is individual, idiosyncratic, informal, personal, emotive, mystic, and often pessimistic about the mutability of the world Often frankly sexual and even promiscuous Tightly focused argument Often uses paradox, irony, and ambiguity