The Revival of Metaphysical Poetry

The History of Style, 1800 to the Present


Joseph E. Duncan

The metaphysical style, as expressed in its most distinguished and distinguishable form by the seventeenth-century poet John Donne, has had an increasing influence on latter-day critics and poets. Thus it is important to an understanding of literary history to examine this revival. Professor Duncan traces the movement and analyzes changing interpretations of the style in the work of British and American poets and critics. He shows that much of the “new criticism” and the metaphysical poetry of T. S. Eliot and that of the metaphysical style has thrived on fresh critical interpretation and vital poetic experimentation.

Joseph E. Duncan was a professor of English at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

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