The Metaphysical Passion: Seven Modern American Poets and the Seventeenth-Century Tradition

By Sona Raiziss | Go to book overview

2 THE POETS AND THEIR SUBJECTS

WHO ARE the metaphysical poets? A definitive answer would help establish the nature of their art. But judgments and categories vary widely. Believing that most great poets are metaphysical, some critics take much the same view as Whitehead does in respect to philosophy: "All reasoning, apart from some metaphysical reference, is vicious."1 This begs the question and abuses the term in its application to poetry. As immediate successors to Donne and Ben Jonson, six poets were designated by Samuel Johnson:2Suckling, Waller, Denham, Cowley, Cleveland, Milton. David Masson also felt Milton to be metaphysical in the philosophical sense, and was inclined for the same reason to add Fulke Greville and Sir John Davies. The roll calls of Grierson (with twenty-six names), Genevieve Taggard, and Spencer differ significantly. This confusion comes from the initial difficulty of definition. If we accept John Donne's poetry as the archetype of the metaphysical method and attitude, we shall find it hard to define the modern equivalent. An embarrassing assortment and number of poets suggest Donne in some quality or technique: Emily Dickinson, Gerard Manley Hopkins, W. H. Auden, Eliot, MacLeish, Crane, Wallace Stevens, Allen Tate, Elinor Wylie.

In contemplating the whole production of poets of this order, one finds much of it quite disparate; the metaphysical element must be some common denominator among them. What attraction exists among Lucretius, Catullus, Aquinas, Dante, Chapman, Donne, Webster, Carew, Marvell, Goethe, Hopkins, Dickinson, Eliot, Auden, Crane? What common ground is there for modern symbolists, imagists, and Fugitives? Somewhere among the fol

-11-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Metaphysical Passion: Seven Modern American Poets and the Seventeenth-Century Tradition
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Part One The Temper Of Metaphysical Poetry 1
  • 1- Definitions 3
  • 2- The Poets and Their Subjects 11
  • 3- Methods, Manner, and Mood 21
  • 4- Wit and the Objective Equivalent 35
  • Part Two Sources of The Metaphysical Impulse 57
  • 5- Time of Transition 59
  • 6- Seventeenth-Century Conflicts 79
  • 7- Analogies 103
  • 8- Twentieth-Century Tensions 114
  • 9- Phases of the Modern Crisis 133
  • Part Three Seven Poets: Text and Context 165
  • 10- T. S. Eliot 167
  • 11- The Fugitives 184
  • 12- Macleish-Wylie-Crane 212
  • Notes 242
  • Partial Bibliography Of Critical Works from 1900 293
  • Index of Names 319
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 332

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.