John Donne is a famous metaphysical poet. He is the founder of the metaphysical school of poetry. So he is often called the father of metaphysical poetry. He is a religious poet. He is also a great love poet. Metaphysical poetry is a type of poetry which deals with abstract or philosophical subjects. The most noticeable qualities of this type of poetry are the use of conceit, obscurity of idea, extravagance of expression and abrupt beginning.
The poetry is intellectual, analytical, psychological argumentative, dramatic and reflective. It is absorbed in thoughts of death, physical love and religious devotion. Most of the metaphysical poets are often called mystical poets. The poetry of Donne is intellectual in tone. Literally, “meta” means “beyond” and “physics” means “physical nature”. So “metaphysics” means “beyond physical nature”. In this sense, metaphysical poetry is a type of poetry which deals with abstract or philosophical subjects.
The most noticeable qualities of this type of poetry are the use of conceit, obscurity of idea, extravagance of expression and abrupt beginning. The poetry is intellectual, analytical, psychological argumentative, dramatic and reflective. It is absorbed in thoughts of death, physical love and religious devotion. The diction is simple and imagery is elaborate and ingenious. In brief we can say that metaphysics deals with abstract ideas. In any metaphysical poem the use of conceits is very significant. Infact, conceits make a poem metaphysical.
In “The Good Morrow” there are several conceits. The unawareness of the lovers has been compared to the innocence of a sucking baby. Similarly, the unconscious love of the lovers has been compared to a far fetched image, the sleep of the “seven sleepers den”. Again the two lovers have been compared to two hemispheres. It is clear that all these unusual comparisons are made between two dissimilar and far-fetched things. They produce a stunning effect that a metaphysical poem requires. By nature a metaphysical poem has to be argumentative.
The theme of the poem develops through logical presentation. In “The Good Morrow” the passion of love has been presented through argument. The lovers’ individual identity and their souls’ unity have been logically suggested by the conceit of hemispheres. The lover’s believe in the immortality of their love has also been logically suggested. Since they love each other with equal intensity, the lover argues, they will continue to love each other after death. So the passion and arguments are charmingly blended in this poem.
Bearing all the qualities of a metaphysical poem such as abrupt opening, comparison between far-fetched ideas, reference of abstract images, treatment of spiritual love, successful use of conceits etc. “The Good Morrow” presents an intense passion of love through arguments. It is a dramatic monologue though it differs from an approved dramatic monologue. Its sudden beginning, single speaker and silent listener confirm the tradition of dramatic monologue. Though it does not have the psychological tension that we get in Browning’s dramatic monologues as a whole we can conclude that.