Sunday, January 17, 2021

Metaphysical Poetry Characteristics

🎯Characteristics of Metaphysical Poetry
🌷Dr Mukesh Pareek 
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🎯(1) Dramatic manner and direct tone of speech is one of the main characteristics of metaphysical poetry. In the starting line of the poem “The Canonization” – there is given a dramatic starting –
“For God’s sake hold your tongue, and let me love”.
🎯(2) Concentration is an important quality of metaphysical poetry in general and Donne’s poetry is particular. In his all poems, the reader is held to one idea or line of argument. Donne’s poems are brief and closely woven. In “The Extasie”, the principal argument is that the function of man as a man is being worthily performed through different acts of love. He continues with the theme without digression. For instance,
“As ‘twixt two equal armies, Fate
Suspends uncertain victorie,
Our souls, (which to advance their state,
Were gone out,) hung ‘twixt her and me”.

Metaphysical Poetry
🌷Dr Mukesh Pareek 
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🎯(3) An expanded epigram would be a fitting description of a metaphysical poem. Nothing is described in detail nor is any word wasted. There is a wiry strength in the style. Though the verse forms are usually simple, they are always suitable in enforcing the sense of the poem. For instance –
“Moving of th’earth brings harms and fears
Men reckon what it did and meant,
But trepidation of the spheres,
Though greater far, is innocent”.
🎯(4) Fondness for conceits is a major character of metaphysical poetry. Donne often uses fantastic comparisons. The most striking and famous one used by Donne is the comparison of a man who travels and his beloved who stays at home to a pair of compasses in the poem “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning” –
“If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two,
Thy soul fixt foot makes no show
To move, but doth, if th’other do”.
We find another conceit in the very beginning couple of lines of “The Extasie” –
“Where like a pillow on a bed,
A pregnant bank swel’d up, …”.

Metaphysical Poetry
🌷Dr Mukesh Pareek 
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🎯(5) Wit is another characteristic of metaphysical poetry. So, here we find various allusions and images relating to practicality all areas of nature and art and learning-- to medicine, cosmology, contemporary discoveries, ancient myth, history, law and art. For instance, in “The Extasie”, Donne uses the belief of the blood containing certain spirits which acts as intermediary between soul and body –
“As our blood labours to get
Spirits, as like souls, as it can,
Because such fingers need to knit
That subtle knot, which makes us man:”
In the same poem, the Ptolemaic system of astrology is also used when he says –
“… We are
The intelligences, they the sphere”.
🎯(6) Metaphysical Poetry is a blend of passion and thought. T. S. Elliot thinks that “passionate thinking” is the chief mark of metaphysical poetry. There is an intellectual analysis of emotion in Donne’s Poetry. Though every lyric arises out of some emotional situation, the emotion is not merely expressed, rather it is analyzed. Donne’s poem “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning” proves that lovers need not mourn at parting. For instance,
“So let us melt, and make no noise,
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move,
‘Twere profanation of our joys
To tell the laity our love”.
Metaphysical Poetry
🌷Dr Mukesh Pareek 
🌷15 NET, 3 JRF, 2 M. Phil
🌷Expert of Experts 
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🎯(7) Metaphysical Poetry is a fusion of passionate feelings and logical arguments. For example, in “The Canonization”, there is passion expressed through beautiful metaphors:
“Call us what you will, we are made such by love;
Call her one, me another fly,
We are tapers too, and at our own cost die,
And we in us, find the eagle and the dove”.
But at the same time, the tone of the poem is intellectual and there is plenty of complexity involved in the conceits and allusions, such as the “Phoenix riddle”.

🎯(8) Metaphysical Poetry is the mixture of sensual and spiritual experience. This characteristic especially appears in Donne’s poetry. Poems such as “The Canonization”, “The Extasie” – even though they are not explicitly discussed, the great metaphysical question is the relation between the spirit and the senses. Often Donne speaks of the soul and of spiritual love. “The Extasie” speaks of the souls of the lovers which come out of their bodies negotiate with one another. For instance,
“And whilst our souls negotiate there,
We like sepulchral statues lay;
All day, the same our postures were,
And we said nothing, all the day”.

Metaphysical Poetry
🌷Dr Mukesh Pareek 
🌷15 NET, 3 JRF, 2 M. Phil
🌷Expert of Experts 
👉Join online /offline Classes for BA/MA/NET /JRF /pre Ph. D
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🎯(9) Usage of satire and irony is another characteristic of metaphysical poetry. Donne also uses this in his poems. For example, in “The Canonization”, there is subtle irony as he speaks of the favoured pursuits of people – the lust for wealth and favours.
“Take you a course, get you a place,
Observe his honour, or his Grace”.
🎯(10) As far as Donne is concerned, the use of colloquial speech marks the metaphysical poetry. This is especially apparent in the abrupt, dramatic and conversational opening of many of his poems. For instance,
“For God’s sake hold your tongue, and let me love”
Or,
 “Or the King’s real, or his stamped face”
(The Canonization)
🎯(11) Carelessness in diction is another characteristic of metaphysical poetry. These poems reacted against the cloying sweetness and harmony of the Elizabethan Poetry. They deliberately avoided conventional poetic expression. They employed very prosaic words, if they were scientists or shopkeepers. Thus, we find, in their poetic works, rugged and unpoetic words. Their versification and their dictions are usually coarse and jerky.
🎯(12) Affectation and hyperbolic expression is another character of metaphysical poetry. It is often hard to find natural grace in metaphysical writing, abounding in artificiality of thought and hyperbolic expression. The writer deemed to say “something unexpected and surprising. What they wanted to sublime, they endeavored to supply by hyperbole; their amplification had no limit, they left not only reason but fancy behind them and produced combination of confused magnificence”. For instance, the lines of “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning” –
“Our two souls therefore, which are one,
Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to ayery thinness beat”.
🎯(13) The lyrics of the metaphysical poems are very fantastic and peculiar. According to A. C. Word, “The metaphysical style is a combination of two elements, the fantastic form and style and the incongruous in matter and manner”.
Therefore, so far we discussed the salient features of metaphysical poetry, it is proved that John Donne is a great metaphysical poet. 

Metaphysical Poetry
🌷Dr Mukesh Pareek 
🌷15 NET, 3 JRF, 2 M. Phil
🌷Expert of Experts 
👉Join online /offline Classes for BA/MA/NET /JRF /pre Ph. D
🌷Contact 9828402032


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