Poetry: The Last of the Metaphysicals
Norris wrote practically no poetry after 1687. Perhaps like Coleridge he found good poetry and good philosophy incompatible, but no more than Coleridge did he pursue poetry as a side-track while maintaining his main interest elsewhere. It may be that Norris’s poetry would be less easily identifiable with the Metaphysical tradition had he gone on writing verse after 1687, but as it is, even as the last of the Metaphysicals, Norris reveals an involvement in the forces and forms of poetry which succeeded the Metaphysical tradition. This is inevitable given the date of Norris’s poetry; what is remarkable is that Norris’s poems are so strongly and homogeneously marked by the Metaphysical tradition.
Keywords18th Century Direct Address Aesthetic Theory Metaphysical Tradition Modern Language Association
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