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Metaphysical Poetry. Period 3 Ms. Banuelos Charmaine Dimal, Kristen Trinidad, Justis Manalo , Alexander Twano. Metaphysical Poetry. Metaphysical poetry is a term created by Samuel Johnson. Used to describe a group of British poets in the 17 th century.

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Metaphysical poetry

Metaphysical Poetry

Period 3

Ms. Banuelos

Charmaine Dimal, Kristen Trinidad, JustisManalo, Alexander Twano

Metaphysical poetry1
Metaphysical Poetry

  • Metaphysical poetry is a term created by Samuel Johnson.

  • Used to describe a group of British poets in the 17th century.

  • Known for conceits (elaborate metaphors), directness of language, imagery, and use of “wit”

  • Topics about “the whole experience of man” – love, romance, and God.

  • Early Renaissance ideas about Romantic Poetry.

Poetic techniques and themes
Poetic Techniques and Themes

  • Intellectually rigorous, scholastic, dialectical, and subtle

  • Argumentative – using logic, syllogisms or paradox in persuasion.

  • Concentrated complex and difficult thought.

  • Dramatic, with abrupt aggressive opening but modulating tones.

  • Style – concise, succinct, and epigrammatic.

  • Themes usually have to do with body and soul (corporal and spiritual), time and eternity (finite and infinite), real (concrete) and the ideal (abstract), carnal (profane) and divine (sacred) love, sin and redemption, emotion (passion) and reason (logic).

Thomas carew
Thomas Carew

  • Born in West Wickham, London in early 1595.

  • In June 1608 at the age of thirteen, he enrolled to Merton College, Oxford

  • He earned his BA degree in 1611

  • On August 11, 1611 he entered the Middle Temple to begin his legal studies

  • February 1613; he became a private secretary in Italy for Sir Dudly Carleton

  • Some of his notable works are “My Mistress Commanding Me to Return Her Letters,” “Disdain Returned,” “Song. A Beautiful Mistress,” and “Epitaph On the Lady Mary Villiers.”

  • Themes used by Thomas Carew are usually about love.

John donne
John Donne

  • English poet, satirist, lawyer, and a cleric in the Church of England.

  • Well known for sonnets, love poetry, religious poems.

  • Uses strong, sensual style in his work which includes the use of metaphors and vibrant language.

  • Notable works of poetry include: “A Valediction of Weeping,” “Woman’s Constancy,” “A Lame Beggar,” and “A Litany.”

Andrew marvell
Andrew Marvell

  • At the age of twelve, Marvell attended Trinity College, Cambridge and eventually received his BA degree.

  • As a metaphysical poet, he is associated with John Donne and George Herbert. He was a colleague and friend of John Milton.

  • His most famous poems include “To His Coy Mistress,” “The Garden,” “An Horatian Ode upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland,” “The Mower’s Song” and the country house poem “Upon Appleton House.”

  • Marvell’s poetry is often witty and full of elaborate conceits in the elegant style of the metaphysical poets. Many poems were inspired by events of the time, public or personal.

George herbert
George Herbert

  • Herbert received two degrees ( a BA in 1613 and an MA in 1616) and was elected a major fellow of Trinity.

  • Herbert’s poems have been characterized by a deep religious devotion, linguistic precision, metrical agility, and ingenious use of conceit.

  • In 1624 and 1625 Herbert was elected as a representative to Parliament. He resigned as orator in 1627, married Jane Danvers in 1629, and took holy orders in the church of England in 1630.

  • Herbert spent the rest of his life as rector in Bemerton near Salisbury. While there, he preached, wrote poetry, and helped rebuild the church out of his own funds.

  • Notable works of poetry include: “Man,” “The World,” “Mattins,” “A Wreath,” “The Dawning,” “Peace,” “Love (III),” “and Sin.”


  • Create a short love poem including similes and/or metaphors. Share.

Metaphysical poetry

  • 1. What do most metaphysical poets write about?

  • 2. What type of figurative language do these poets incorporate?

  • 3. Who first developed these types of poems?

  • 4. Would a poem about a young boy’s Christian journey be metaphysical? Yes or no.