Metaphysical Poetry

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Metaphysical Poetry: Much More Than Wit The two main views of metaphysical poetry, as composed by poets A.E. Housman and T.S. Eliot, are vastly different. Eliot’s view of metaphysical poetry is a very positive and respectful one. He admires the uniqueness of the metaphysical poets when he describes them as “reflective poets” as opposed to merely intellectual ones. Eliot says they have the ability to “feel their thought as immediately as the odor of a rose,” compared to the strictly thought-driven traditional poetry of lyrical poets. Housman’s view is significantly more harsh and critical. In reference to metaphysical poetry, he says that “poetry, as a label for this particular commodity, is not appropriate.” According to Housman,…show more content…
An interesting shift, as well as an example of assonance, is seen when the speaker says, “but oh, to no end” (Line 6). In this moment of lament, the speaker begins to seem pathetic and his other commands to God begin to seem more like emotional begging. He is troubled that his “reason […] proves weak and untrue” (Lines 7-8). In line 7, the concept of reason is personified as an ambassador to the town when the speaker says, “Reason, your viceroy in me, me […]” This line contains anadiplosis, followed by an example of consonance found in the phrase, “should defend, / but is captiv’d.” Line 8 describes this ambassador of reason as being held captive by sin. In line 9, the poem becomes more personal when the speaker expresses his overall feelings toward God by saying, “Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain.” The speaker uses consonance to show he knows his love is requited. However, he feels he cannot accept God’s gift of love because he is “betroth’d unto [God’s] enemy” (Line 10). He continues with this metaphor of marriage by asking God to “Divorce [him]” (Line 11) from his sin. Consonance is present when the speaker
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