John Donne

1376 Words Mar 16th, 2011 6 Pages
John Donne is the name in English Literature who gave new direction to the literary activities of his age. He is in a sense founded the metaphysical lyric, which was practiced by scare of writers. As Dowden says, “We are told that in the decline of the greater poetry of the Elizabethan period, a metaphysical school arose and that John Donne was the founder or the first eminent member of this school.” John Donne set up a new tradition in versification by and large Donne must be regarded as an original poet, “a poet who gave much more than what he borrowed from his age.” The word “metaphysical” has been defined by various writers differently. The learned critics feels that “metaphysical poetry” is inspired by a philosophy, …show more content…
Then comes a conceit which also expresses the passion of the lovers:
SHE’S ALL STATES, AND ALL PRINCES I;
NOTHING ELSE IS. The most striking and famous one is the comparison of man who travels and his beloved who stays at home to a pair of compasses in ‘A Valediction Of Forbidding Mourning’. Here soul of the beloved is like the fixed foot of compasses as by her inborn nature she stays at home whereas the soul of the lover is like the other foot of compasses which moves beyond the center to complete a circle of journey.
IF THEY BE TWO, THEY ARE TWO SO
AS STIFF TWIN COMPASSES ARE TWO,
THY SOUL THE FIX FOOT, MAKES NO SHOW
TO MOVE, BUT (DOTH) IF THE OTHER DOE.
In The Relique, John Donne imagines himself lying in a grave as a skeleton with the undeniable token of spiritual love in the sphere of his beloved’s bright lock of hair forming a bracelet about his wriste borne and because of their great love, he and his beloved will be honored like saints,
ALL WOMEN SHALL ADORE US, AND SOME MEN. Another feature is the use of colloquial speech which marks the metaphysical poetry. In John Donne’s poems, the vigor of colloquialism is especially apparent in the abrupt, conversational opening of many of his poems. He selected colloquial diction which has vigor, freshness and originality. He discarded literary words and phrases which became rusty because of repetition. Another characteristic of metaphysical poetry

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