There have been many instances where people have asked me why my poems are complex and often fly above their head.
When I explain that they belong to a specific genre called as metaphysical poetry and I am not even halfway up its learning curve,they find the latter part of my explanation more convincing and nod with a smile.Their non verbal cue doesn’t generally mean that they understood. It simply means : “Oh! Its you who is not good at it. For a moment I thought I was dumb” 😛
My love for such poems makes me crave for an audience who can appreciate and maybe take up this genre when they pen one. With that intention am writing this post to spread a little awareness about this genre.
WHAT IS IT?
A Metaphysical Poem is a one which uses abstract ideas and metaphors with wit in a way that it directs a reader into a frame wherein he/she can have multiple interpretations.
By nature they are complex and would appear as if the they have been constructed using dissimilar images.
The basic idea behind the usage of such far fetched similes and metaphors is to make the readers think, rather than just impressing them with wordplay and expression.
As a person who believes in Learning as a lifestyle than a function, I generally pen my poems in this genre.
Famous Metaphysical Poets
The metaphysical poets were eclipsed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by romantic and Victorian poets, but twentieth century readers and scholars, seeing in the metaphysicals an attempt to understand pressing political and scientific upheavals, engaged them with renewed interest.In his essay “The Metaphysical Poets,” T. S. Eliot, in particular, saw in this group of poets a capacity for “devouring all kinds of experience.”
Of all the poets in this genre, John Donne (1572 – 1631) is my all time favorite and most of my works are inspired from his.
He was the most influential metaphysical poet. His personal relationship with spirituality is at the center of most of his work, and the psychological analysis and sexual realism of his work marked a dramatic departure from traditional, genteel verse.
George Herbert (1593 – 1633) and Andrew Marvell (1621 – 1678) were remarkable poets who did not live to see a collection of their poems published. Herbert, the son of a prominent literary patron to whom Donne dedicated his Holy Sonnets, spent the last years of his short life as a rector in a small town. On his deathbed, he handed his poems to a friend with the request that they be published only if they might aid “any dejected poor soul.” Marvell wrote politically charged poems that would have cost him his freedom or his life had they been public. He was a secretary to John Milton, and once Milton was imprisoned during the Restoration, Marvell successfully petitioned to have the elder poet freed. His complex lyric and satirical poems were collected after his death amid an air of secrecy.
Poets info Source : poetsDOTorg
With the hope that this little information would have changed you view about metaphysical poetry or at least kindled an interest in you to read this genre,I am posting an old poem of mine which is close to my heart. Would love to know how it appealed and your interpretations of it 🙂
The harder he tried, the harder it got
way too engrossed, he understood not.
He tried throwing fast, he tried throwing slow.
It never landed right, what can he do now?
“Its just a rubber ball”, he heard someone say
Oh yes! Its a rubber ball, with a smile he swayed.
With the same ease it left his hand, it landed back safe
He smiled within, it would forever remain a gaffe