Literary Periods in Poetry

metaphysical poets
Donne, Herbert, Marvell

metaphysical time period
17th century English

metaphysical definition
introspective meditations on love, death, God, and human fraility; famous for difficulty and obscurity

metaphysical poetry features
wit, irony, paradox; pairing of dissimilar objects into the service of a clever, ironic analogy or paradoxical conceit; elaborate stylistic maneuvers; huge shifts in scale (ants to planets); deep philosophical issues (relationships, God, death)

confessional poetry definition
written by poets who took the personal pronouns seriously and explored intimate content, who wrote about their innermost thoughts, whether it was about love, fears, violent opinions, or any sensitive autobiographical material.

confessional poetry features
first person narration; focuses on individual experience and thoughts; taboo topics; reveal doubts and anxieties under a comfortable façade

confessional poets
Robert Lowell; Sylvia Plath; Anne Sexton; W. D.


confessional poetry time period
The late 1950s and early 60s in the United States