The Varieties of Metaphysical Poetry

While a student at Harvard in the early years of this century, T. S. Eliot immersed himself in the verse of Dante, Donne, and the nineteenth-century French poet Jules Laforgue. His study of the relation of thought and feeling in these poets later led Eliot, as a poet and critic in London, to formulate an original theory of the poetry generally termed "metaphysical" - philosophical and intellectual poetry that revels in startlingly unconventional imagery. Eliot came to perceive a gradual "disintegration of the intellect" ...

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