Essay on Techniques Used in the Writing of Metaphysical Poetry

597 Words 3 Pages
The ideas and techniques of the metaphysical poets were much different from those of some of the earlier poets we have read. This type of poetry was established in the early 17th century England. In metaphysical poetry, an obvious use of sex and sexual innuendos is prevalent, as opposed to earlier times when it was rarely even mentioned. It also was a more realistic variety of poetry and was much less fairytale or fantasy. Another technique of metaphysical poetry was the constant use of intellect and metaphors. Throughout the poetic ages, use of ideas and techniques will change in order for the reader to understand the written word in front of them.

Metaphysical poetry used sex and sexual innuendos so much more than poetry from earlier
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In Donne’s poem The Flea, the male lover is telling the potential female lover that he wants to have sex with her, when he says, “A sin, or shame, or loss of maidenhead/Yet this enjoys before it woo.” (597) As time went by, sex became less taboo to write about in poetry. Reality as opposed to fairytale and fantasy was a major aspect of metaphysical poetry. The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus was the epitome of fantasy and fairytale in the 16th century. It is based on a man who strives to be “all-knowing” and ends up selling his soul to the devil when calling on the devil and his minions, “Faustus begin thine incantations/And try if devils will obey thy hest/Seeing thou hast prayed and sacrificed to them.” (439) John Donne used reality towards death in his poem Holy Sonnets 10, in saying, “One short sleep past we wake eternally/And death shall be no more;Death, thou shalt die.” (616) A large part of what made metaphysical poetry, metaphysical, was its use of reality. Another technique of metaphysical poetry was the constant use of intellect and metaphors, which was not common in prior eras of poetry. In John Donne’s The Flea, sex, love, and honor are compared to a flea. “Mark but this flea, and mark in this/How little that which thou deniest me is/Me it sucked first, and now it sucks thee/And in this flea our two bloods mingled be,” refers to the actual act of sexual intercourse. (597) During the time of

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