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John Donne belongs to a group of 17th century poets who are better known as the

metaphysical poets. This group of poets was inclined to the personal and
intellectual complexity and concentration that is displayed in their poetry came to
be known as the metaphysicals.
Before plunging into the complex world of metaphysical poets let us first learn the
basics. We will start with three mischievous terms – metaphysics, metaphysical and
metaphysical poetry.

### Now what is metaphysics??

Oxford advance learner’s dictionary puts it in this way – it is the branch of
philosophy that deals with the nature of existence, truth and knowledge. And yes,
you are right the group of poets known as the Metaphysical Poets have nothing to
do with any sort of philosophical doctrine or anything like that.

### So what does the term Metaphysical mean???

Lexically ‘meta’ means forming words, denoting a position behind or beyond. In
literature the term is marked by ingenious witty imagery expressing subtleties of
thought and emotion.

### And what the heck is Metaphysical Poetry????

Just like you, who are reading this BEST ENGLISH ESSAY webpage we also loathe
definition. So let us not to be bound by the rigidity of literary definition of this term
but let us fathom it in a different way. Let us see what this genre of poetry holds in
it (simply saying let us find the characteristics of Metaphysical poets’ writing).
Following are the characteristics of Metaphysical Poetry –
i. Concentration: a metaphysical poem is an expanded epigram. The reader
is held to an idea. He is not allowed to pause and ponder over a passage.
It demands that we pay attention and read on.
ii. Metaphysical conceit: A conceit is a comparison whose ingenuity is more
striking than its justness. But a metaphysical conceit but a metaphysical
conceit is used to persuade, or to define, or to prove a point.
iii. Learnedness: The metaphysical poets played with thoughts as the
Elizabethans had played with words.
iv. Mechanism of sensibility.
v. Unification of sensibility.
vi. Cynicism.
vii. Unconventional opening.
viii. Metrical harshness.

If you find all these traits in a poem CONGRATULATE yourself for finding a
John Dryden first employed the term