Monday, November 16, 2009

Metaphysical Poetry

This is a new topic for my AL Literature students. Baffled at the mere sound of it, they seem to have mentally rejected it. However, poetry is poetry.... only its style differs. It was rather interesting to notice my students' reaction as i mentioned Andrew Marvell as a Metaphysical Poetry. I'm sure this reaction was due to the fact that it is new and unfamiliar. This is the type of poetry that triggers hot discussions in class. I am waiting in excitement to reveal the beauty of his poems to them and to enjoy their responses to his metaphysical conceits. Lucky me that these are pretty smart students who more often than not question and challenge the poets' intentional techniques which fail to have an effect on their reading of the poems. After working on poets such as Wordsworth who drove them up the walls (they are free thikers) with his recurrent them of nature as God, Marvell and Donne will surely get their minds running on a marathon! Well for those who experience the same with Metaphysical Poetry, here's a brief introduction....

What is a metaphysical poem?

>lyric poems

>brief but intense meditations, characterized by striking use of wit, irony and wordplay

>beneath the formal structure (of rhyme, metre and stanza) is the underlying (and often hardly

less formal) structure of the poem's argument

>there may be two (or more) kinds of argument in a poem


In To His Coy Mistress the explicit argument (Marvell's request that the coy lady yield to

his passion) is a stalking horse for the more serious argument about the transitoriness of

pleasure. The outward levity barely conceals a deep seriousness of intent. You would be able

to show how this theme of carpe diem (“seize the day”) is made clear in the third section of the


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.