Metaphysical poetry is a style of poetry that was popular in England during the 17th century. The name comes from the term “metaphysical school,” which is a reference to a group of philosophers who taught at Oxford University in England during this time.
Metaphysical poetry is known for its use of witty comparisons, and for its use of language and images that are highly imaginative and unexpected.
The metaphysical poets believed that the universe was a unity, and that the world was governed by universal laws. They rejected traditional Christian beliefs in favor of materialism and empiricism. The universe was viewed as an orderly place that operated according to certain laws. They also believed in the idea of entelechy, which means that things have an innate purpose or goal that they strive toward. This idea can be seen in many poems by metaphysical poets such as Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress,” which tells us that even though our bodies will die someday, our souls will live on forever.
In addition to using wit, the metaphysical poets also used satire and irony to make their points about society. For example, Andrew Marvell’s “Upon Appleton House” uses satire to ridicule Lord Fairfax’s pretentiousness as well as his wasteful lifestyle:
Fairfax shall live at least in stone; And long as age shall last this house Will praise him more than e’er he praised himself!