One could argue for a long time as to whether Watts was more of a late Metaphysical than an early preromantic poet. But to conclude, as in all reason one would have to, that he was a bit of both, raises more questions than it solves. What is the connection between Metaphysical and Romantic ? Does Watts in some special way reveal the missing link in a long-term evolutionary process? Does Watts, in his aesthetic theory and poetic practice, illustrate a transitional moment between the old and the new, in the same way as the body of his thought marks the end of the Renaissance and the beginning of the modern consciousness? If it is Watts’s classicism which constitutes this transitional moment, how is this part and parcel of a body of poetry at once Metaphysical and Romantic?


Cartesian Dualism Philosophical Essay Aesthetic Theory Metaphysical Tradition Romantic Poet 
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  1. 9.
    See John Dryden, Works, Vol. 1., ed. E. N. Hooker and H. T. Swedenberg ( Berkeley: University of California, 1956 ), p. 263.Google Scholar
  2. 20.
    Pinto. Essays and Studies, XX (1935), 86.Google Scholar
  3. 22.
    Alfred Edward Housman, The Name and Nature of Poetry ( Cambridge: University Press, 1935 ), p. 31.Google Scholar
  4. 23.
    Pinto, Essays and Studies, XX (1935), 102.Google Scholar
  5. 24.
    See Reuben A. Brewer, “Lady Winchilsea and the Poetic Tradition of the 17th Century,” Studies in Philology, XLII (1945), 61–80. Brewer concludes that Lady Winchilsea is neither a Metaphysical nor a preromantic.Google Scholar
  6. 25.
    Pinto, Essays and Studies, XX (1935), 92–93. Cf. T. E. Hulme’s belief that Romanticism is spilt religion.Google Scholar
  7. 29.
    See A. T. Quiller-Couch (ed.), The Oxford Book of English Verse ( Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1900 ), p. 772.Google Scholar

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© Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Netherlands 1971

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  • John Hoyles

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