THE MAIN FEATURES OF THE METAPHYSICAL POETRY ILLUSTRATED BY JOHN DONNE

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THE MAIN FEATURES OF THE METAPHYSICAL POETRY

ILLUSTRATED BY JOHN DONNE

The term "metaphysical poetry" is used to describe a certain type of 17th century poetry. Metaphysical poetry is concerned with the whole experience of man. It means that the poetry is about showing knowledge and thoughts from different areas of experience, especially about love, romantic and sensual; about man's relationship with God and about pleasure, learning and art.

Metaphysical poems are lyric poems characterised by use of wit, irony and wordplay. Wit and conceit were both aspects of a mental set shared by writers looking for connections between things.
As well as manipulation of ideas, wit could be displayed
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In his Holy Sonnets Donne investigates issues of eternity but also sin, repentance and death are things that have always forced people to examine their faith. Born into a Roman Catholic family, Donne's personal relationship with religion was strong and passionate and at the center of his poetry. In 1621 he became dean of Saint Paul's Cathedral. Later he wrote his private prayers " Devotions upon Emergent Occasions" and his learned, charismatic and inventive preaching made him a highly inluential presence in London. " Only a few days before his death he preached Death's Duel, a terrifying analysis of all life as a decline toward death and dissolution which contemporaries termed his own funeral sermon" 3123

Generally Donne wrote about women in his youth, and about God in his older ages, his passion is transformed.
In fact Donne is unusual, if not unique, for him courtly love hardly appears in his poetry at all. The courtly love poet always express the same experience of love, the range of situations and motions who deal with being very limited. In contrast Donne expresses an enormously wide range of feelings in his Songs and Sonnets, all relating to the experience of real love. In these poems we are also confronted by the war between the body and soul. The metaphysical style expresses a sense of the tensions between matter and spirit, faith and reason. However he also saw the necessity of realising that love is personal not merely spiritual relationship. We can say

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