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Metaphysical Poetry


Metaphysical Poetry- Definition (2) ... In love poetry, the metaphysical poets often draw on ideas from Renaissance Neo ... Metaphysical Poetry Platonic Love(1) ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Metaphysical Poetry

Metaphysical Poetry
  • The Flea
  • By John Donne

Metaphysical Poetry- Definition(1)
  • By itself, metaphysical means dealing with the
    relationship between spirit to matter or the
    ultimate nature of reality. The Metaphysical
    poets are obviously not the only poets to deal
    with this subject matter, so there are a number
    of other qualities involved as well 
  • Use of ordinary speech mixed with puns, paradoxes
    and conceits (a paradoxical metaphor causing a
    shock to the reader by the strangeness of the
    objects compared some examples lovers and a
    compass, the soul and timber, the body and mind)

Metaphysical Poetry- Definition (2)
  • The exaltation of wit, which in the 17th century
    meant a nimbleness of thought a sense of fancy
    (imagination of a fantastic or whimsical nature)
    and originality in figures of speech
  • Abstruse terminology often drawn from science or
  • Often poems are presented in the form of an
  • In love poetry, the metaphysical poets often draw
    on ideas from Renaissance Neo-Platonism to show
    the relationship between the soul and body and
    the union of lovers' souls
  • They also try to show a psychological realism
    when describing the tensions of love.

Metaphysical Poetry Platonic Love(1)
  •   During the Renaissance, Plato got mingled with
    Christian and Eastern thought. Through this
    mingling we get  Platonic love (which is a lot
    more than you probably think it means). For
    Plato, beauty proceeds in a series of steps from
    the love of one beautiful body to that of two, to
    the love of physical beauty in general, and
    ultimately to the love of that beauty "not in the
    likeness of a face or hands or in the forms of
    speech or knowledge or animal or particular thing
    in time or place, but beauty absolute, separate,
    simple, everlasting--the source and cause of all
    that perishing beauty of all other things." 
  • When this scheme is Christianized by equating
    this ultimate beauty with the Divine Beauty of
    God, the Renaissance Platonic lover can move in
    stages through the desire for his mistress, whose
    beauty he recognizes as an emanation of God's, to
    the worship of the Divine itself. 

Metaphysical Poetry- Platonic Love(2)
  • This complex doctrine of love which embraces
    sexuality (the mystical union of souls, cf.
    Donne's "The Canonization") but which is directed
    to an ideal end (discussed in Plato's Symposium)
    is particularly evident in Donne. (But we see it
    in poets from Sidney to Lawrence). 
  • Platonic love has also come to mean a love
    between individuals which transcends sexual
    desire and attains spiritual heights (for
    examples, see some of the courtly romances like
    Tennyson's Idylls of the King), as well as
    homosexual love (see Forster's Maurice), derived
    from the praise of homosexual love in The

The Flea
  • By John Donne

John Donne- Biography
  • -born in Bread Street in 1572 to a prosperous
    Roman Catholic family
  • -1593 his brother, Henry died of a fever in
    prison after arrested for giving sanctuary to a
    proscribed catholic priest. Donne began to have
    doubts in his faith.
  • - 1601 secretly married Lady Egertons niece,
    seventeen-year-old Anne More, daughter of Sir
    George More
  • -1611 Donne was invited and joined Sir Robert
    Drury to the continental trip. It was then Donne
    composed several of his most prominent poems. A
    Valediction Forbidden Mouring

John Donne- Biography (2)
  • -1617 Donnes wife died. Within 16 years, she
    gave him 12 children.
  • -1631 Donne died of serious illness.

John Donne- Writing Style
  • Donnes work were famous for the themes if
    his faith in God and women. Though not writing
    with conventional glamorous style of verse like
    the Petrachan style, Donne successfully and
    beautifully connect the time and space in his
    poems with extraordinary images. Donnes usage of
    diction and language in composing his work is
    considered revolutionary of his time. His style
    is regarded as metaphysical in the modern study
    of poem.

The Flea- Main Idea
  • The Flea is a poem about class distinction,
    marriage and struggle between religion conception
    and physical needs.
  • Please Welcome Joey! To give reading to this Poem

Explanation and Analysis- Marriage and Class
  • this is a poem about an unblessed marriage
  • class distinction, the two blood mixed together
    (stanza one, line46)
  • used the flea as a metaphor of connection of
    their (fragile) marriage (stanza two, line 34)
  • deeply related to religious concepts. Ex. When he
    talks about his wife, that if she kills the flea,
    that she would be commit three crimes of
  • flea as the metaphor of a fragile marriage.
    Because it would be easily destroyed.
  • THE change of mind after his wife squeezed the
    flea, he thinks that there is no loss for her to
    marry him (stanza 3.)

Explanation and Analysis-Religion and Sex
  • The poem that reflects the change of era- the
    conservative, religious value v.s. the new values
    that comes with religion.
  • He prefers the blood mingled together as a
    connection rather than sexual intercourse, which
    he thinks is a sin.

  • ???? ? ???
  • ? ? ? ? ? , ? ? ? ?
  • ? ? ? , ? ? ?
  • ? ? ? ? , ? ? ? ? , ? ? ? ? ,
  • ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ,
  • ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? , ? ? ? ?? ?
  • ? ? ? ? ? , ? ? ? ? ? ?
  • ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? , ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

????- Explanation and Analysis(1)
  • This poem was written by a woman named??? in?
    Dynasty. She wrote this poem in order to stop her
    husband ??? from marrying a concubine.
  • The first two sentences, the writer describes how
    deep they love each other and what a great
    passion between them. ? is a pronoun. It
    represent You or I , thus, ? ? ? ? means I
    am you and you are me. We love each other very
    much so that we do not have to distinguish who we
    are, because we are together, our hearts and
    minds unitize together.

????- Explanation and Analysis(2)
  • She compares their passionate love to fire. She
    uses fire to create a vivid image. Then, the
    writer uses soil to give a more vivid image to
    confirm their everlasting love. From the third
    sentence, use soil to knead a you and knead an I.
    Then, break us up together and mix up with water.
    Re kneads a you and re kneads an I. In this way,
    I have you and you could have me. In the last
    sentence, the writer confirms their permanent
    love that no matter live or die, they will be
    together for all eternity.

????- The Song
  • ????,????,???,???,????,????,????????,????,????,???
  • ????,????,????,????,????,????,?????,?????,????,???

  • Please enjoy listening to this song
  • ???? sung by ???

Similarities The Flea????
  • Both two poems focused on the mingling
  • The flea---flea It sucked me first, and now
    sucks thee, And in this flea our two bloods
    mingled be
  • ????---the soil ????,????,????,????????,???????

Comparison- Structure
  • The Flea
  • The rhyme scheme in each stanza is similarly
    regular, in couplets, with the final line rhyming
    with the final couplet AABBCCDDD.
  • Three stanzas in total which are also three ideas
    in progress.
  • The stress pattern in each of the nine-line
    stanzas is 454545455
  • This poem alternates metrically between lines in
    iambic tetrameter and lines in iambic pentameter.
  • ????
  • The whole poem is rhyming with? rhyme.
  • The whole poem is full of passion.

Comparison- Techniques
  • The Flea
  • In the Flea, author divided his idea into three
    parts which are also the processes of the whole
    poem. The flea that sucked---the death of the
    flea---the turning thought about the poet.
  • ????
  • There is only one stanza. No obvious processes
    but strong passion. There seems to be no
    conflicts in the poem. The idea of never changing
    until death is what differs from The Flea. The
    passion of mingling is much stronger than The

Works Cited
  • Metaphysical Poetry
  • http//
  • John Donne
  • http//

Thank You for Your Participation!
  • Tiffany Lee intro
  • Allen
  • Bonnie
  • Irene structure
  • Tiffany Wei
  • Joeycomparison
  • Katie