Metaphysical Poetry Definition
The term “Metaphysical Poetry” was first coined by Samuel Johnson, the famous poet and the critic, in his book named “Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets”. The Metaphysical Poetry Definition as he mentioned a small group of highly educated English poets of the 17th century and called it the “Metaphysical Poets”. He further explained that how they shared the intensive use of unusual conceits and paradoxes to describe the unexplainable emotions and events.
It is the type of poetry, which has scope beyond the physical world and deals with the notion of existence. Metaphysical Poetry is a vast topic to discuss, but to put in a nutshell, the type of poetry, which is about the correlation between the physical realm and spiritual realm, soul and being, real and conceptual, along with the forms of reality and insight, using the methodologies of philosophy.
Characteristics of Metaphysical Poetry
Following are some of the fundamental features of Metaphysical Poetry that may explain the basic idea of what this poetry genre is as follows:
The Metaphysical Poetry is highly ambiguous and seems obscure due to the high intellect of the poets. These poems needs complete concentration and make the whole reading process demanding as the ideas are brief and closely woven. Therefore, it becomes really difficult for the reader to get the roots of the topic in the very first understanding.
The poems are very short, succinct and brief. Each line has its complete meaning in fewer words. Nothing is described in detail and the words are adjusted properly. There is no wastage of words as the poets have adopted the wiry strength in the writing style.
This type of poetry can be rightly named as the expanded epigram. The poets have lots of maxims and the sayings to describe the function of the lines.
Unified Sensibility is the term used for the fusion of reasoning and the emotions together. It is the opposite of the Dissociation of the Sensibility, which was in practice by the contemporary poets in the Age of Pope.
The Unification of the Sensibility is the major and imperative aspect of the Metaphysical Poetry. These poets didn’t try to separate the feelings and emotions; instead they fused them together smartly. As we stated before, this poetry is the amalgam of physical and spiritual, abstract and concrete, passionate feelings and logical arguments and so forth.
This is the main reason why this poetry is really difficult to understand. Their philosophical views had a great impact on their poetic styles as well.
Carelessness in Diction:
Colloquialism is also another important feature of the Metaphysical Poetry. The poets reacted against the conventional expressions of harmony and sweetness of the Elizabethan Poetry. They employed the jerky and coarse diction and used kind of like informal, prosaic, colloquial, rugged and unpoetic words.
The Metaphysical Poets are called the most original poets of the English Literature History. They didn’t adopt the common route of contemporary poets; instead they preferred to walk on their own philosophical way of writing unique and original poetry. They were the rebels, who presented the unseen, unheard ideas that made them distinct from others in every possible way. This poetry startles its readers and makes them think about the questions never asked before.
Wit, another vital feature of Metaphysical Poetry, is the expression of the ideas, while aptly using the figures of speech, in such a way that can bring pleasure and joy to the reader. Although the poets were talking about the very serious questions, they made sure to add the element of humor as well.
Johan Donne, the leader and founder of Metaphysical Poetry, was named the “Monarch of Wit” due to his logical, argumentative and informal language, which used to make the user wonder in the ideas of the poet.
The Metaphysical Poetry gives idea about the Platonic Love. Platonic Love is referred as the spiritual relationship between two companions that do not share the sexual desire. The poets treated the platonic love in their poetry and freed it from the physical objects of love.
The Conceits are the unique property of Metaphysical Poetry. They can be defined as the farfetched comparison between the two apparently dissimilar objects that don’t have many things in common. Conceit was mostly used to argue, convince, and reflect something that normally ended in finding fondness in hatred. It was normally applied to explain positivity in negativity.