How John Donne As a Metaphysical Poet as we have a deep study of the meaning of the term”Metaphysics” we come to know that it has philosophical, obscure, ingenious, fantastic and ethereal meanings in itself. Metaphysics in poetry is the over-ripe fruit of the Renaissance. The true genius of Donne’s poetry is that it is reflective and philosophical, therefore it is called metaphysical poetry.

Some critics are of the view that the metaphysical poetry is inspired by a philosophical conception of the universe as the role assigned to the human spirits in the great drama of existence. Donne is well acknowledged as a metaphysical poet by different poets and thinkers. They label him as for his using the far-fetched conceits and images.


In its interpretation, it means that the term metaphysical is beyond (meta) physical nature. Its outstanding characteristics are such as complexity, intellectual tone, abundance of subtle wit, fusion of intellect and emotion, argumentation, witty and fantastic conceits, scholarly allusions, dramatic tone and philosophic or reflective elements. Keeping all the above mentioned traits and characteristics of a metaphysical poetry in mind, we can say that Donne’s poetry fulfills all such metaphysical tastes.

The very first quality of Donne’s poetry which strikes our mind is the concentration. His poems are brief, closely woven and argumentative. Donne himself was fond of using the conceits which is one of the major characteristics of metaphysical poetry. He often employs fantastic comparisons of Elizabethan age . Such kind of conceit is very much evident in “The Flea” where he calls the insect as a marriage bed and the marriage temple of the lovers because it has bitten them and sucked their blood. In addition to his love poems, he also uses such kind of conceits in his religious poetry.

There is no doubt in saying that Donne‘s uniqueness in striking wit and subtle allusions is unchangeable. This very quality marks and uplifts the level of the metaphysical poetry and same is the case with that of Donne. Donne’s learning and scholarly nature are observed in his art of using allusions and images from all areas of nature, art, astronomy which capture the attention of the readers. Moreover, he also extracts the allusions from medicine, ancient myths, contemporary discoveries, history; law and art and implies them in his poetry.

unique metaphors find in Donne’s poetry

His intellectuality assumes different moods and attitudes, reflecting his perception of the complexity of life. The use of paradoxical statements is another trait or quality of his art of poetry which can be observed in abundance in the poems, “The Legacy and Batter my heart”. I “Death be not Proud”, he says: “Death thou shalt die”. These are such kinds of examples which one can frequently see in his poems. Donne’s poetry displays a unique and superb combination of passion and thought which is another quality of metaphysical poetry.

Donne himself analyses the emotions intellectually. Emotions are not only expressed in every lyric but also are analysed “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning” proves that lovers need not mourn at parting with each other. “The Canonization” shows that lovers are saints of love. “The Good Marrow” asserts that lovers are the best possible hemispheres who make only up a complete world. In brief, it can be said that passion is not expressed through beautiful metaphors in Donne’s poetry but in an intellectual manner. 

Metaphor in his Poem ” The Good marrow”

His love poems display a very vivid proof for his poetry to be called metaphysical poetry. These poem’s present the union of two human beings in love. His remarkable poems such as “The Good Marrow”, The Anniversary”, “The Canonization” and “The Ecstasy” display the relation of the spirit and the senses. Donne often discusses the soul and the spiritual love. In ‘’The Ecstasy” we see that he presents the souls of the lovers as coming out of their bodies in order to negotiate with one another.

To conclude this topic that How John Donne As a Metaphysical Poet define himself through his poetry. It can be said forcefully and vividly that Donne belongs to that school of poetry which is called metaphysical because he always blends intellect and wit with emotions and feelings. He chooses his language from the court or the camp the ‘Jargon of law’, study, or the marketplace. There is no doubt in saying that the metaphysical qualities are found abundantly both in his earlier love poems and his later divine poems. All the above mentioned qualities and characteristics of his poetry show that. Donne deserves a lot of “metaphysical”. It is well acknowledged by the modern critics that his metaphysical poetry is widely appreciated because it serves as a mean between the two schools of thoughts in poetry, pure physical poetry and platonic i.e. ideal and fanciful poetry.


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