metaphysical poets

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metaphysical poets,

name given to a group of English lyric poets of the 17th cent. The term was first used by Samuel Johnson (1744). The hallmark of their poetry is the metaphysical conceit (a figure of speech that employs unusual and paradoxical images), a reliance on intellectual wit, learned imagery, and subtle argument. Although this method was by no means new, these men infused new life into English poetry by the freshness and originality of their approach. The most important metaphysical poets are John Donne, George Herbert, Henry Vaughan, Thomas Traherne, Abraham Cowley, Richard Crashaw, and Andrew Marvell. Their work has considerably influenced the poetry of the 20th cent.


See studies by H. C. White (1936, repr. 1962), J. F. Bennett (3d ed. 1964), H. Gardner, ed. (1967), G. Williamson (1967), P. Beer (1972), P. Grant (1974), and M. DiCesare, ed. (1988).

References in periodicals archive ?
The metaphysical poet John Donne was seduced by transatlantic exploration in his poem "To His Mistress Going to Bed".
Michael Bassey Johnson the Nigerian metaphysical poet supports Popeye's view that self respect is important.
First exploring the metaphysical poet John Donne's assertion in 1624 that "no man is an island", this was seemingly heavyweight stuff.
Australian writer Peter Porter described Hull as "the most poetic city in England" because as well as Larkin, its literary heritage also includes the 17th century metaphysical poet Andrew Marvell, who grew up and was educated there, Stevie Smith, who was born in Hull, and former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, whose first volume of poetry was published while he taught English at the university.
On that day - it was Good Friday 1613 - the metaphysical poet John Donne was riding westwards.
He engages in a running dialogue with other writers ranging from Henry Vaughan the metaphysical poet to contemporaries like Kenneth Koch.
The next chapter, "Petrarch as the Metaphysical Poet Who Is Not Dante," by Teodolinda Barolini, conveys a less pacific image of the two poets" relationship.
The prize is named after 17th century metaphysical poet Richard Crashaw and run by poetry press Salt Publishing.
Dr Vivian Bearing is 48, a PhD specialising in the work of 17-century metaphysical poet John Donne.
Perhaps the deputy education minister Alun Pugh has been reading the metaphysical poet John Donne, one of whose characteristics was to make important points by drawing unlikely comparisons.
In another era, John Donne, the 17th-century English metaphysical poet, showed the same bravado when he personified Mr.