T.S. Eliot The Metaphysical Poets Essay

T.S. Eliot The Metaphysical Poets Essay-33
Secondly, there is the device of the development of an image by rapid association of thought requiring considerable agility on the part of the reader.

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Eliot begins the essay by praising Grierson’s scholarly edition of metaphysical lyrics and poems of the 17th century.

This book is an admirable piece of criticism in itself, as well as a provocation to criticism. It sets Eliot himself thinking, and he proposes to consider the significance of the label ‘Metaphysical’ which has generally been used as a term of abuse to indicate the quaint tastes of these poets, and also to examine whether the so-called ‘metaphysical’ poets constituted a school or movement in themselves, or were they merely a continuation of some older tradition.

The dominant characteristics of Donne’s poetry are also the characteristics of the great Elizabethans. Johnson’s famous definition of metaphysical poetry, in which the great doctor has tried to define this poetry by its faults. Johnson in his Life of Cowley points out that in Metaphysical poetry “the most heterogeneous ideas are yoked violence together”.

They bringing together of heterogeneous ideas and compelling them into unity by the operation of the poet’s mind is universal in poetry.

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By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies. Secondly, it is difficult to decide which poets practised it and which did not, and which of their verses have such characteristics.In the beginning of the 17th century, there are noticeable three different schools of poetry: First, there is Donne, a late Elizabethan, and Marvell and Bishop King who are very close to him.Though these three pictures are entirely separate, the poet has unified them by stressing the likeness between his lady’s tears and the globe, and further that they are capable of overflowing the earth.Thirdly, on other occasions Donne produces his effects by sudden contrasts.American critic Louis Martz has recognized two early American poets, Anne Bradstreet (1612? 1645-1729), as sharing many characteristics with these English poets. (The entire section is 538 words.) Although the specific designation “Metaphysical poet” was not used until 1781, the adjective “metaphysical” was applied to the works of these poets in their own time.The Scots poet William Drummond of Hawthornden spoke of a tribe of writers in his day filling poems with “metaphysical .” In 1693, the most influential of restoration critics, John Dryden, scorned the verse of Donne because in it he “affects the metaphysics.” In the early eighteenth century, Alexander Pope identifies Cowley (and, parenthetically, Davenant) as a poet who “borrowed his metaphysical style from Donne.” In fact, it was in the context of Cowley, and not of Donne, that Johnson invented the term “Metaphysical poet.” In his essay on Cowley in .” For about a century and a half, Metaphysical poetry fell out of favor, although the Romantics, especially Samuel Taylor Coleridge, expressed a liking for them.Secondly, there is Ben Jonson and his, courtly school, of poetry, a kind of poetry which expired in the next century in the verses of Prior.Thirdly, there is the religious poetry of Herbert, Vaughan and Crashaw.Prominent names in most discussions of Metaphysical poetry include John Donne (1572-1631), George Herbert (1593-1633), Andrew Marvell (1621-1678), Thomas Traherne (c.1637-1674), Henry Vaughan (1622-1695), Richard Crashaw (c. 1561-1595), Abraham Cowley (1618-1667), Sir William Davenant (1606-1668), Sir John Suckling (1609-1642), and Thomas Carew (1594-1640).


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