Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Metaphysical Poetry at the turn of 21st century.

Teaching Metaphysical poets to MA part one students these days. It made me think on how a mode of writing which was considerd marginal and freakish for hundreds of years, suddenly became an object of admiration and a model in the twentieth century.
My own poetry resembles metaphysical mode in many ways. I have written on the things like spam and corrupt floppy and cyber porn and even `alu vadi' ( paatra in Gujarati) an Indian recipe. These guys used all the learning and scholarship to do violence to the language of poetry and even then their expression of love, devotion, death remains remarkably precise. What is remarkable is that their imagery sounds far fetched and their poetic logic seem to carry things too far, even after extreme avant garde movements like Surrrealism and Dadaism. I think thats what makes them so very interesting.
The Metaphysical mode is the avant-garde of the seventeenth century because it aims to include and absorb everything thats considered `unpoetic' into the language of poetry and inflict great violence on it to express its meaning. Perhaps this is the reason why Sachin is so terribly interested in them even today at the turn of the twentifirst century and understand why Eliot was so excited about them almost a hundred years back.

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