Some examples of metaphysical poems include Andrew Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress," George Herbert's "The Collar" and Henry Vaughan's "The World." Each of these poems deals with themes of human experience from a meditative, serious perspective. In "To His Coy Mistress," for example, Marvell conducts a study of love as a brief and fleeting source of happiness, constructing his argument with words and phrases like "but" and "now therefore."Continue Reading
Metaphysical poetry is generally characterized by its brevity and intensity, making use of humor and wordplay to conceal an underlying and thoughtful stance on eternal themes.
Although "To His Coy Mistress" is essentially a secular poem, God is a recurrent theme in many other examples.
For example, John Donne, one of the key metaphysical poets between the 14th and 15th centuries, contemplates the individual's relationship with God and death in many of his works, perhaps most notably in his collection of "Holy Sonnets." He was influenced both by the religious oppression of his time and his personal experiences, such as the loss of his wife.
One of the best examples of such weighty themes being dealt with in a lighthearted, human manner comes from Vaughan's "The World," which begins with the line: "I saw Eternity the other night."Learn more about Poetry