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We can broadly classify the revival of metaphysical poems,
especially Donne's works, into the following seven:
1. The 1st stage of metaphysical revival (1870s)
We can broadly classify the revival of metaphysical poems, especially Donne's works, into the following seven:
Alexander Grossarts edition of John Donnes poems- 1872
Grossarts edition on poems of George Herbert, Crashaw, Marvell and Cowley- 1870-1880
Edmund Gosses biography of Donne-1899
During the late 19th century metaphysical poets such as Francis Thompson and other American critics observed the sudden interest among poets in writing about Donne.
2. In the 19th century
Donnes poetry and personality was widely studied.
From the mass of Donnes criticism there emerged three closely related concepts of man- Donne the rebel, Donne the mystery and Donne the unique individual
3. Conceptions of thought & feeling, psychological realism and modernity of metaphysical poets were merged (late 19th and early 20th centuries)
The idea was largely discussed in T.S Eliots essays on The metaphysical poets, Andrew Marvel and John Donne.
The critics argued that intellectual devices could play a significant role in the expression of sincere personal feeling.
Grossart was one of the first critics to stress the quick transitions between thought and feeling in the work of the metaphysics.
Also American critics like Lowell, Schelling and Edward Bliss Reed began thinking in the same manner and spoke about Donnes contribution to the development of intellectualised emotion.
4. Emphasis on psychological realism, their fidelity to psychological process and to the flux and flow of complex experience
A significant contribution to this idea was made by T.S Eliot.
The psychological realism was later accompanied by an increased sympathy for a mixture of wit and seriousness.
5. By the 1st decade of 20th century the concept that complexity, obscurity and harshness prevented sincere personal expression was reversed as they seemed to be qualities that reflected fidelity to the truth of experience.
6. The poets of early 20th century insisted that they were modern
It was the tendency to compare 17th century and modern poetry initiated by Keats, Herbert, Shelley, Crashaw and John Keble.
A significant climax contribution was made by Eliot.
7. The members of Gregorian poet critics including Brooke and Walter De la Mara began Comparing Donne with contemporary poets. Comparisons were made between Donne & Brook and Donne & Shakespeare.