John Donne's Influence On The Metaphysical Period

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The metaphysical period can be defined as the short-lived duration through which highly concentrated literature which questioned the essence of several aspects of life, was more popular than at previous times. By itself, metaphysical means dealing with the relationship between spirit to matter or the ultimate nature of reality(Dr. Marguerie). There were several writers who had the greatest impact on this metaphysical period. These authors include John Donne, George Herbert, and Andrew Marvell. Donne is often considered the greatest love poet in the English language. He is also noted for his religious verse and treatises and for his sermons, which rank among the best of the 17th century. Finally, there was Andrew Marvell. Andrew Now considered…show more content…
Their work is a blend of emotion and intellectual ingenuity, characterized by conceit or “wit”—that is, by the sometimes violent yoking together of apparently unconnected ideas and things so that the reader is startled out of his complacency and forced to think through the argument of the poem. Firstly, one must examine the influence on the metaphysical period exhibited by John Donne. John Donne was born in London, England, in 1572. He is commonly referred to as the founder of the Metaphysical Poets, a term believed to have been created by Samuel Johnson, who is an 18th century poet. Donne was successful during this period because of the connection he made with his readers within his novels. One example of this connection is that his writing speaks to us as directly and urgently, allowing us to hear a present confidence. “For instance, a lover who is about to board ship for a long voyage turns back to share a last intimacy with his mistress: “Here take my picture” (Elegy 5)”( Ian Dagnall poetryfoundation). Looking at Donne’s works, it is quickly established that most of his poetic works were written before the…show more content…
Much of his early popularity—there were at least eleven editions of The Temple in the seventeenth century—no doubt owes something to the carefully crafted persona of "holy Mr. Herbert" put forth by the custodians of his literary works and reputation. In the preface to the first edition of The Temple, published in 1633, shortly after Herbert died, his close friend Nicholas Ferrar established the contours of Herbert's exemplary life story, a story that not only validated but was also presumably told in the poems of the volume. In a few short pages Ferrar indelibly sketches Herbert as one who exchanged the advantages of noble birth and worldly preferment for the strains of serving at "Gods Altar," one whose "obedience and conformity to the Church and the discipline thereof was singularly remarkable," and whose "faithful discharge" of the holy duties to which he was called "make him justly a companion to the primitive Saints, and a pattern or more for the age he lived in." This is not only high praise, but praise with political as well as religious implications: in 1633 the church was a place of contention as well as worship, and Ferrar helped establish Herbert as a model of harmonious, orderly, noncontroversial devotion for whom faith brought answers and commitment to the social
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