John Donne was representative of the metaphysical poets of his time. He set the
metaphysical mode by vibrancy of language and startling imagery, and a preference for
a diction modelled on direct utterances. He was brought up as a Roman Catholic (later
he converted to Anglicanism) and was Dean of St. Paul’s Church till his death.
The total effect of a metaphysical poem at its best is to startle the reader into seeing and
knowing what he has not really noticed or thought about before. Like all Donne’s poetry
this poem too reflects an emphasis on the intellect and wit as against feeling and