Each conveyed the message of "living for the now." This message can be clearly seen in the poems "To his Coy Mistress" by Marvell and Donne’s "Flea." By using clever metaphors and meter, the poems not only are symbolic, but have almost a physical aspect to them.
The poets used romance to represent other deeper issues in a symbolic way, like in "To His Coy Mistress" or "The Flea" where the poets use syllogistic arguments, which are usually used in politics, and in these poems show what society then was like....
Although in no sense a school or movement proper, they share common characteristics of wit, inventiveness, and a love of elaborate stylistic manoeuvres.
Metaphysical concerns are the common subject of their poetry, which investigates the world by rational discussion of its phenomena rather than by intuition or mysticism.
consolidated the argument in , where he noted (with reference to ) that 'about the beginning of the seventeenth century appeared a race of writers that may be termed the metaphysical poets'.
However, from the glorified object of desire in Henry Vaughan’s ‘They are all gone into the world of light’ to the way in which John Donne mocks the personified death in ‘Death be not proud’, there are also a lot of common points which are made.
It was also in the 1590s that Donne wrote many of his love poems, most of which are dramatic monologues. In these poems, Donne explores different conceptions of love, ranging from cynical realism to platonic idealism and presents the extremes of both physical and spiritual love in a favorable light. During these years, Donne also composed letters, elegies, wedding songs, and epigrams that were published after his death as Songs and Sonets (1635).
Donne volunteered to sail with the Earl of Essex to sack Cadiz in 1596 and with Sir Walter Raleigh to hunt Spanish treasure ships in the Azores in 1597. Donne celebrated these experiences in the poems The Storm” and ”The Calm.” One of his companions on these voyages was the son of Sir Thomas Egerton, a judge and adviser to Queen Elizabeth. The young Egerton helped Donne gain employment as his father’s secretary.
Donne was born during the reign of Elizabeth I, an era now recognized as one of the most bountiful periods of art and literature in the history of England. The Elizabethan era was characterized by exploration in foreign lands and expansion of the British Empire, relative peace between Protestants and Catholics (though she decreed that all citizens were required to attend a Church of England Sunday service), and a flowering of English poetry and theater. Some writers who lived during this time were William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, John Milton, and Edmund Spenser.
After embracing the Church of England—the only church officially recognized by King James I and his wealthy supporters—Donne gained the patronage of Sir Thomas Morton, a prominent member of the Protestant clergy, who hired him to write anti-Catholic pamphlets. Pseudo-Martyr (1610), Donne’s first published guide, was written to persuade English Catholics to renounce their allegiance to Rome and instead take the oath of allegiance to the British crown. This work captured the attention of King James I. The anti-Jesuit polemic Ignatius His Conclave followed in 1611. Donne then wrote Biathanatos, a treatise defending suicide, for which Donne admitted a sickley inclination.” (The subject matter of this poem made it unsuitable for publication at the time; it was not published until 1646.)
John Donne was born in 1572 in London, England, into a devout Roman Catholic family. His father was a prosperous London merchant, and his mother was a relative of Catholic martyr Sir Thomas More. Donne was educated at home by Catholic tutors until age eleven, when he went to Hart Hall, Oxford. Donne attended Oxford University but he did not take a degree. Graduation required signing an oath of allegiance to the English monarch, which would have compromised his Catholic beliefs requiring him to swear allegiance only to the pope. He entered law school at Lincoln’s Inn in 1592.
An Anatomie of the World” and Of the Progres of the Soule,” together known as the Anniversaries (1611), were poems composed for Sir Robert Drury on the first two anniversaries of his fifteen-year-old daughter’s death. These poems earned Donne the patronage of Drury, who took the poet to France in 1611 on a diplomatic mission. It was during this time in France that Donne, missing Anne, wrote ”A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning” (1611).
Upon his return to England, Donne was increasingly pressured by King James to become a priest in the Church of England. Despite his reluctance, the former Catholic was ordained an Anglican priest in 1615. For some time, he wrote no poetry but focused on his new duties, writing and delivering sermons in a style that impressed many members of the royal court. Donne’s mastery of prose is directly linked to his evolution into a great preacher. His unique blend of verbal command, emotional and psychological insight, expansive knowledge, and imaginative range set him apart from his clerical peers. In 1621 he was appointed dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral, where he soon began attracting large crowds with his brilliant oratory.