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.
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