A Metaphysical poet is any of the 17th-century English poets who are drawn to the personal and intellectual depth and focus demonstrated in John Donne's poetry, the chief of the Metaphysicals. Like Donne, they seek to explore reality through contemplation and experiment with the mind rather than follow the traditional paths of epic or dramatic poetry.
Donne was born on 15 April 1572 in the town of Shrewsbury, England. He was educated at Cambridge University and became a priest in 1608. Donne had many friends who were also poets, including George Herbert, Richard Burton, and William Wordsworth. He traveled widely and held several government posts before his death in 1631 at the age of 36.
Donne's poems are known for their simplicity yet depth perception. They deal with such subjects as mortality, love, and faith. Donne was a devout Catholic and during his lifetime he wrote several poems about Jesus Christ.
He is considered one of the founders of modernism in English literature.
Donne's work pre-dating Herbert's by about fifteen years made him the leading figure in the metaphysical school. Although Herbert did not write until later in life, he was greatly influenced by Donne. Both men were interested in using poetry as a means of exploring ideas outside the ordinary realm of thought and experience.
John Donne was the founder and head of the metaphysical poetry school. Dryden initially used this term to describe Donne, saying that he "affects the metaphysics." Abraham Cowley, Henry Vaughan, Richard Crashaw, Andrew Marvell, George Herbert, Robert Herrick, and others are examples of metaphysical poets.
Donne's work pre-dating Herbert's by about 15 years brought him fame during his own lifetime but was later overshadowed by Herbert. However, both men have been praised and followed since their deaths. Today, many poets regard themselves as members of the metaphysical school.
Metaphysical poetry is a broad category that includes any poetry that uses abstract ideas as its main subject matter rather than physical reality. The most common subjects are love, time, death, and religion. Donne is regarded as the father of metaphysical poetry because of his use of metaphysical arguments to support religious belief and his experiments with language style and form.
He was born in 1572 in London, the son of a wealthy merchant who died when John Donne was only nine years old. He was educated at Cambridge University and Lincoln's Inn in London. In 1602 he was elected poet laureate after Herbert died in the previous year. Donne was a devout Catholic and in 1615 was imprisoned for three months because of his involvement in an alleged plot to overthrow King James I. During his imprisonment he wrote some of his most important poems.
Except for Donne, George Herbert (1593–1633) is the most widely read of all the metaphysical school poets. This is due to the clarity with which he expresses himself and the honesty with which he expresses his ideas. There is simplicity as well as genuine seriousness in his religious lyrics. He was born into an affluent London family and was educated at Cambridge University where he earned laurels as a scholar by winning several prizes. He also married a wealthy widow who had two children by a previous marriage. His wife died when they were still young and both of them left no children.
He is best known for his poems "Easter Wings" and "Love Poems." The former is about our mortality while the latter is about God's love for us.
Donne began writing poetry at an early age and traveled abroad many times. On one of these trips he met Herbert who encouraged him to dedicate himself to poetry. When Donne returned home he brought along some of Herbert's poems which attracted attention of the public and critics. They became friends which later turned into a rivalry since both of them were famous poet-laureates of their time.
Herbert outlived Donne by five years but did not publish any more poems after 1631. He died at the age of 35 without leaving any children. Thus, George Herbert is considered as the founder of the metaphysical school.
The name "Metaphysical Poets" was used by the poet and critic Samuel Johnson to designate a loose group of 17th century English lyric poets whose work was distinguished by the imaginative use of conceits and speculation on issues such as love or religion. Johnson described them as "a set of miserable poets, who have had every advantage around them to make life pleasant and delightful, and who have been incapable of producing any thing but metaphysical poetry."
The word "metaphysical" comes from the Greek meta meaning "after" or "alongside of" and phusis meaning "nature". Thus, metaphysical poetry is poetry that studies nature alongside nature's own study, i.e., science. Science and technology have changed many aspects of our lives in recent years, but one aspect that has not changed is our interest in why things are as they are given their natural state and how we can better understand them. Metaphysics is the study of this interest and of the connection between human beings and the universe at large.
Metaphysical poetry is also called hypermetaphysical because it goes beyond what is naturally given to discuss issues such as infinity, perfection, spirit, and mind. These are topics that modern scientists study in their research labs around the world so there is no reason for anyone to write about them otherwise.
Poet of metaphysics
Metaphysical poetry is distinguished by original concepts and phrases, conceit, wit, obscurity, and learning. All of these essential features may be seen in Donne's poetry. Because of his independence and need for knowledge, his poetry is philosophical. His poetry is filled with humor. He uses paradox and irony to explain religious and moral subjects. He also uses comparisons and images that help readers understand what he is trying to say.
Donne was born on March 20th, 1572 in London. He had two brothers who were also poets: George and Richard.
He was educated at Cambridge University and later became a priest in the Church of England. In 1621, he resigned from the church to marry Anne More. She was a widow with three children. Donne did not have any children himself but he loved kids and used to take care of her children as well. She died in 1631.
He lived in London but spent most of his time traveling around Europe. Donne met many important people such as royalty, scientists, and philosophers. This gave him the opportunity to discuss serious topics with them. He used his knowledge to write poems about religion, love, death, and politics which made him famous worldwide.
Donne died in 1631 at the age of 44. He is considered one of the best metaphysical poets because of his ideas and insights into life.