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A key anthology for students of English literature, Metaphysical Poetry is a collection whose unique philosophical insights are some of the crowning achievements of Renaissance verse, edited with an introduction and notes by Colin Burrow in Penguin Classics. Spanning the Elizabethan age to the Restoration and beyond, Metaphysical poetry sought to describe a time of startlin A key anthology for students of English literature, Metaphysical Poetry is a collection whose unique philosophical insights are some of the crowning achievements of Renaissance verse, edited with an introduction and notes by Colin Burrow in Penguin Classics. Spanning the Elizabethan age to the Restoration and beyond, Metaphysical poetry sought to describe a time of startling progress, scientific discovery, unrivalled exploration and deep religious uncertainty. This compelling collection of the best and most enjoyable poems from the era includes tightly argued lyrics, erotic and libertine considerations of love, divine poems and elegies of lament by such great figures as John Donne, George Herbert, Andrew Marvell and John Milton, alongside pieces from many other less well known but equally fascinating poets of the age, such as Anne Bradstreet, Katherine Philips and Thomas Traherne. Widely varied in theme, all are characterized by their use of startling metaphors, imagery and language to express the uncertainty of an age, and a profound desire for originality that was to prove deeply influential on later poets and in particular poets of the Modernist movement such as T. S. Eliot. In his introduction, Colin Burrow explores the nature of Metaphysical poetry, its development across the seventeenth century and its influence on later poets and includes A Very Short History of Metaphysical Poetry from Donne to Rochester. This edition also includes detailed notes, a chronology and further reading. Colin Burrow is Reader in Renaissance and Comparative Literature at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He has edited Shakespeare's Sonnets for OUP and The Complete Works of Ben Jonson, and is working on the Elizabethan volume of the Oxford English Literary History. If you enjoyed Metaphysical Poetry, you might like John Donne's Selected Poems, also available in Penguin Classics.


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A key anthology for students of English literature, Metaphysical Poetry is a collection whose unique philosophical insights are some of the crowning achievements of Renaissance verse, edited with an introduction and notes by Colin Burrow in Penguin Classics. Spanning the Elizabethan age to the Restoration and beyond, Metaphysical poetry sought to describe a time of startlin A key anthology for students of English literature, Metaphysical Poetry is a collection whose unique philosophical insights are some of the crowning achievements of Renaissance verse, edited with an introduction and notes by Colin Burrow in Penguin Classics. Spanning the Elizabethan age to the Restoration and beyond, Metaphysical poetry sought to describe a time of startling progress, scientific discovery, unrivalled exploration and deep religious uncertainty. This compelling collection of the best and most enjoyable poems from the era includes tightly argued lyrics, erotic and libertine considerations of love, divine poems and elegies of lament by such great figures as John Donne, George Herbert, Andrew Marvell and John Milton, alongside pieces from many other less well known but equally fascinating poets of the age, such as Anne Bradstreet, Katherine Philips and Thomas Traherne. Widely varied in theme, all are characterized by their use of startling metaphors, imagery and language to express the uncertainty of an age, and a profound desire for originality that was to prove deeply influential on later poets and in particular poets of the Modernist movement such as T. S. Eliot. In his introduction, Colin Burrow explores the nature of Metaphysical poetry, its development across the seventeenth century and its influence on later poets and includes A Very Short History of Metaphysical Poetry from Donne to Rochester. This edition also includes detailed notes, a chronology and further reading. Colin Burrow is Reader in Renaissance and Comparative Literature at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He has edited Shakespeare's Sonnets for OUP and The Complete Works of Ben Jonson, and is working on the Elizabethan volume of the Oxford English Literary History. If you enjoyed Metaphysical Poetry, you might like John Donne's Selected Poems, also available in Penguin Classics.

30 review for Metaphysical Poetry

  1. 5 out of 5

    Katie Ray

    Phenomenal collection. Beautiful.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ayne Ray

    Metaphysical poetry of the 17th century is intriguing to me because it is characterized by wit and the use of complex stylistic maneuvers, as well as concerned with approaching philosophy and spirituality with reason and analyzing, not just feeling, emotion. Since I tend to gravitate towards John Donne I was glad that this book broadened my horizons and introduced me to other poets I had not heretofore known.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Paulina Postscriptum

    Although I really liked the poetry in this anthology, covering a wide variety of different authors, I would have a liked a short introduction for each of the authors and their work to be incorporated into the main body of the text. But apart from that it is a great anthology and many of the poems featured in here are a lot of fun to read (for uni and for pleasure as well). A definite recommendation.

  4. 4 out of 5

    randi-

    4.5stars A collection of Edwardian poetry that took my breath away, ensued in laughter, sadness and genuine awe. Tackling love, mourning, death, sickness, sadness, nature, time, memories and life in general, this collection of highly esteemed poets put together in one book brings all of life’s virtues, experiences and gifts into light and I adored every second of it. George Herbert and Andrew Marvell bewitched me and stole thoughts embedded in my mind. By far my two favourites out of so many more. 4.5stars A collection of Edwardian poetry that took my breath away, ensued in laughter, sadness and genuine awe. Tackling love, mourning, death, sickness, sadness, nature, time, memories and life in general, this collection of highly esteemed poets put together in one book brings all of life’s virtues, experiences and gifts into light and I adored every second of it. George Herbert and Andrew Marvell bewitched me and stole thoughts embedded in my mind. By far my two favourites out of so many more. A delightful and magical read that took me places and made me feel so many emotions.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Akanksha Tirkey

    Beyond the physical

  6. 5 out of 5

    randiii

    4.5stars A collection of Edwardian poetry that took my breath away, ensued in laughter, sadness and genuine awe. Tackling love, mourning, death, sickness, sadness, nature, time, memories and life in general, this collection of highly esteemed poets put together in one book brings all of life’s virtues, experiences and gifts into light and I adored every second of it. George Herbert and Andrew Marvell bewitched me and stole thoughts embedded in my mind. By far my two favourites out of so many more. 4.5stars A collection of Edwardian poetry that took my breath away, ensued in laughter, sadness and genuine awe. Tackling love, mourning, death, sickness, sadness, nature, time, memories and life in general, this collection of highly esteemed poets put together in one book brings all of life’s virtues, experiences and gifts into light and I adored every second of it. George Herbert and Andrew Marvell bewitched me and stole thoughts embedded in my mind. By far my two favourites out of so many more. A delightful and magical read that took me places and made me feel so many emotions.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    The seveneenth century is not my favourite period of writing by any means so I did not pick up this book expecting to be blown away. That does not mean there was no fantastic poems in here though. Where better can one start than with Donne's poetry - Song, The Relic, Death be not Proud, Batter My Heart... I loved Henry King's Sic Vita. George Herbert is usually awesome - Perseverance and Love (III) were perhaps the best of his in this volume. Thomas Beedome's The Present, Richard Crashaw's An Epitap The seveneenth century is not my favourite period of writing by any means so I did not pick up this book expecting to be blown away. That does not mean there was no fantastic poems in here though. Where better can one start than with Donne's poetry - Song, The Relic, Death be not Proud, Batter My Heart... I loved Henry King's Sic Vita. George Herbert is usually awesome - Perseverance and Love (III) were perhaps the best of his in this volume. Thomas Beedome's The Present, Richard Crashaw's An Epitaph Upon a Young Married Couple Dead and Buried Together, and The Life by 'Eliza' also stood out for me. The catch? There is a lot of Andrew Marvell in here and also some Richard "I could not love thee, dear so much,// Loved I not honour more" Lovelace. It was good to read some previously-unheard of (by me, at least) poets. The notes were good (although annoyingly, at the end of the volume rather than as footnotes). A good book to have at one's side and dip into.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Andreea

    Good range of lesser known poets for such a short book, as well as the most well known poems of canonical writers, useful introduction and further reading suggestions. Favourites: The Triple Fool, John Donne; To my Excellent Lucasia, on our Friendship, Katherine Philips. Good range of lesser known poets for such a short book, as well as the most well known poems of canonical writers, useful introduction and further reading suggestions. Favourites: The Triple Fool, John Donne; To my Excellent Lucasia, on our Friendship, Katherine Philips.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Paul Natsuo Kishimoto

    Christmas gift from Barb & Steve Kishimoto Received 25 December 2007

  10. 5 out of 5

    Grace

  11. 4 out of 5

    Judith

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Jorgensen

  13. 5 out of 5

    Paul Wilburn

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  15. 5 out of 5

    Austin

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jack

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Abright

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rosalie

  19. 4 out of 5

    Gaurav Tiwari

  20. 4 out of 5

    Part

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sarah MacDonald

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dom

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paul Vittay

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elle

  25. 5 out of 5

    Michele3005

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tiesha

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mary Elizabeth

  28. 5 out of 5

    Aurore Persy

  29. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Arlett

  30. 5 out of 5

    Saiful Hassan

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