John Donne, Andrew Marvell, George Herbert, Thomas Carew, and Henry Vaughan: these were some of the 17th-century writers who devised a new form of poetry full of wit, intellect and grace, which we now call Metaphysical poetry. They wrote about their deepest religious feelings and their carnal pleasures in a way that was radically new and challenging to their readers. Their work was largely misunderstood or ignored for two centuries, until 20th-century critics rediscovered it, finding in it a deep originality and a willingness to experiment that made much conventional poetry look merely decorative. This collection provides the perfect introduction to this diverse group of fascinating poets.
Never is a performer's skill (or lack of) more evident than when reciting poetry. He or she must bring proper pacing, nuance, and depth to a work or risk compromising the meaning in garbled delivery. In the Naxos Edition of The Metaphysical Poets, Nicholas Boulton, Jonathan Keeble, Laura Paton, Geoffrey Whitehead, Roy McMillan, and Will Keen all seem to grasp the intricate metaphors that serve as vehicles for this philosophical and spiritual material. The result is stirring and effective poetry.
John Donne's poems are the most represented here, and his reader's quavering, sentimental yet scholarly voice adds dimension to the poet's abstract thoughts. The work of Andrew Marvell, George Herbert, Thomas Carew, Henry Vaughan, Edmund Waller, and others is also represented.
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