Some would argue that metaphysical poets are more concerned on the style of their poems while others would say that subject is more considered than the style.
It is clear when looking at metaphysical poetry that the poets write with wit. It could be said that this is due to the style and the use of the form, structure and language and in some poems, the use of conceits. One poem, in particular, The Flea by John Donne, uses the use of conceits through the image of a flea. Donne has cleverly twisted the meaning of the flea to represent a marriage bed, to try and persuade his mistress or his wife to have sex with him. Not only is this an unusual twist on the subject of the poem, it also adds a humorous side to the poem. Along with the use of the conceit, Donne has allowed the conceit to develop through three stanzas, with the last line on each adding an additional comment which also provides a twist to the stanza and to the poem as a whole. However, there is also a side to this poem where some may say that the subject is more considered than the style. There are hints of religious imagery throughout the poem such as; ‘Three sins in killing three’ which could link to the holy trinity. Another example of religious imagery is; ‘Purpled thy nail in blood of innocence’ which some may link to the crucifixion. The use of the conceit, which contorts the style, is also adding to the subject and the way he develops the persuasion of seducing his lover.
Andrew Marvell, whose wrote the poem ‘To his coy mistress’, could be said that he considered style as well as subject when writing the poem. There is no use of conceit like Donne, but he does set up his poem through three stanzas, each one developing the argument as to why this woman should have sex with him. ‘Had we but world enough, and time’ and ‘An age to every part’ show that the first stanza is very idealistic, saying that the speaker would sit down, admire her and spend time with her if they had all the time in the world. Marvell ends the first stanza with the line; ‘For, lady, you deserve this state, Nor would I love at lower rate.’ This line shows that he loves her and he couldn’t lover her any less, yet it also could be a sweetener to try and bring her into the way he’s thinking. The second stanza, however, is different from the first in the way that it is very realistic. He starts by saying that death is eventually going to part them, through the quote; ‘But at my back I always hear Time’s winged chariot hurrying near’ which is his point for the second stanza that they shouldn’t waste any time because times running out. Marvell brings the stanza to a horrifically sexual point midway. ‘Nor, in thy marble vault...then worms shall try That long preserved virginity’ He points out that when she’s dead, it won’t be him taking her virginity, it will be the worms and it is basically a decision she has to make, whether let him take it or the worms. The phrase ‘long preserved’ shows that after saving her virginity all this time, it’ll finally be taken by a worm which would be an anti-climax. In the last stanza, the speaker urges the woman to requite his efforts, and argues that in loving one another with passion they will both make the most of the brief time they have to live. Through the three stanzas, there is a sense of urgency, especially in stanza two, when the speaker is being realistic and states that death is hurrying near. The subject of this poem is clearly important to Marvell as he runs with the idea that the speaker is the best option for ‘his mistress’ and before they know it, time would’ve run out and she would’ve missed her chance. It may even be relatable to Marvell and this is based on true events within his life which would make the subject even more important to him, with the style enhancing the poem.
In contrast to Marvells ‘To his coy