Metaphysical and Cavalier Poetry and Authors

what does metaphysical poetry refer to?
the work of group of English lyric poets from the 17th century (not its own movement

Who coined this term and when?
Samuel Johnson in 1744

concerned with abstract thoughts or subjects, like existence, causality, or truth; highly abstract or subtle

Sig Fig Poets
John Donne and George Herbert

defining characteristic
metaphysical conceit

metaphysical conceit
a comparison; a figure of speech that uses unusual and paradoxical images

what is metaphysical poetry inspired by?
a philosophical conception of the universe and the role of man in existence (What’s our purpose in life?)

What is used in literary writing of metaphysical poetry?3
wit, inventiveness and elaborate style

4 Characteristics of Metaphysical Poetry
1- hyperbole
2- expresses a personal feeling
3- syllogism
4- paradoxes

presents a logical argument

images/statements that are contradictory

Sonnet VII “How Soon Hath Time”
John Milton

Sonnet XIX “When I Consider How My Light Is Spent”
John Milton

A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
John Donne

Death Be Not Proud: Holy Sonnet 10
John Donne

An Explication
of “Death Be Not Proud: Holy Sonnet 10” by Anniina Jokinen

A Pilgrim’s Progress
John Bunyan

To My Coy Mistress
Andrew Marvell

John Milton’s faith?

What else did John Milton write?
Paradise Lost

Who went blind?
John Milton

To the Virgins Make Much Time
Robert Herrick

Why is “To His Coy Mistress” like a metaphysical poem even though its a cavalier poem?
a cavalier poem that has a syllogism and a metaphysical conceit (vegetable love) so its like metaphysical poem

Gulliver’s Travels
Jonathan Swift

A Journey of the Plague Year
Daniel Defoe

What is John Donne’s faith?

What is an explication?
analyzes the meanings and relationships of the words, images, and literary techniques used in a literary work

What are the three types of poetry?
metaphysical, puritan, cavalier

what is a cavalier?
is someone who supports the royal family; a royalist

What is cavalier poetry?
b. An early 17th century movement (early 1600s) Robert Herrick
c. Considered the opposite of metaphysical poetry

What are the traits of cavalier poetry?4
i. Uses straight forward expressions (say what they mean)
ii. Elegant and courtly in nature (like Le’Morte de Arthur)
iii. Often erotic and dirty (but hidden)
iv. Tend to be short lyrical pieces

Common theme throughout cavalier poetry?
“carpe diem” seize the day

From the Diary of Fanny Burney
Fanny Burney

italian sonnet

english/shakespearean sonnet

italian sonnet division
octave (ab’s) presents the idea/problem
the seotet (the cd’s) presents the resolution
moves through an idea throughout

english/shakespearean sonnet divisions
3 quatrains and the last 2 lines is the heroic couplet
develops an idea

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Metaphysical and Cavalier Poetry and Authors. (2017, Dec 06). Retrieved from

Metaphysical and Cavalier Poetry and Authors
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