Metaphysical poets, selected poems

Metaphysical Poetry text guide

John DonneThe guide provides the historical background against which many of the poems were written. One of the biggest differences between the seventeenth century and today is that the period in which the Metaphysical Poets were writing was a religious age, not a secular one. This meant that the Bible and other religious texts, including those used in worship, were well known. 

Analysis of the poems

Easter WingsFind out about the poetry of the meta- physicals, what their key themes were, why they wrote their poems, and how even the shape of the poetry can have meaning, such as George Herbert's Easter Wings. Read more . . .

The world of the Metaphysicals

Elizabeth IAt the beginning of the time of the metaphysicals Queen Elizabeth I was on the throne. She was a powerful monarch, in control of parliament and the all the political decisions in England.  Read more . . .

Dive in to the Metaphysical Poetry text guide

Metaphysical poems - Detailed analysis of the poems of the metaphysical poets.

Metaphysical poetry Timeline - Helpfully puts the historical and literary context alongside the lives of the metaphysical poets so you can make sense of events.

Themes and significant ideas - Research themes and significant ideas, such as the loss of innocence, that feature in the different poems.

Metaphysical Poetry e-book - Read the poems and research the text, all for free and online.

How to do well in your essays

Decide what the key words of the question are, and underline them.

If you are asked to analyse an extract, read it through two or three times.

Do not adopt the first possible approach - be willing to dispute the terms of the question if you are given the opportunity.

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