Parmar Milan .L
Roll No. :- 16
Semester :- M.A. Sem.1
Year :- 2014 - 15
Topic:- Characteristics of Metaphysical poetry
Smt. S.B. Gardi Department of English,
Bhavnagar University, Bhavnagar.
What is metaphysical poetry ?
A group of poets emerged in the beginning of
the seventeenth century, whose poetry come
to be known as the metaphysical poetry.
Metaphysical :- literally ‘meta’ means beyond
and ‘physic’ means physical nature.
A word metaphysical first time used by dr.
Johnson in “ The lives of poet ”
John Donne :- ( 1572- 1631)
George Herbert :- (1593-1633)
Andrew Marvell :- (1621-1678)
Abraham Cowley :- (1618-1667)
John Hall:- (1627-1656 )
The made conscious attempt to differ by displaying
their learning and scholarship in their poems. They
were highly learned and they tried to prove their
learning through their poetry.
Conceit :- a particular type of metaphor or simile.
“ If they be two , they are two so,
As stiff twin, compasses are two
Thy soul the fixed foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if th’other do.”
• They use figure of speech excessively. For instance,
“you are as slow as a snail.”
• Their similes and metaphors are far fetched and are
often drawn from unfamiliar source.
• Their images are logical and intellectual rather than
sensuous or emotional.
“ Images taken from field of knowledge, science,
agriculture, geography, history, astronomy, chemistry,
architecture, geometry, mathematics, biology, medical
Mark but this flea, and mark in this
How little that , which thou deniest me is
It sucke’d me first, and now sucks thee
And in this flea our two blood mingled be.”
The use of such images makes their poetry difficult.
Dr. Samuel Johnson criticize by saying that ” their
poetry stands a trial of their finger but not of the ear”
With the restoration Charles || in 1660
metaphysical school declined as theatres were