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Metaphysical poets

A group of 17th-century poets whose works are marked by philosophical exploration, colloquial diction, ingenious conceits, irony, and metrically flexible lines. John Donne is the foremost figure, along with George Herbert, Andrew Marvell, Abraham Cowley, Richard Crashaw, and Henry Vaughan. For more on metaphysical poetry, see Stephen Burt’s poem guide on John Donne's “The Sun Rising.”

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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