Metaphysical Poetry
from Fancyclopedia 1 ca. 1944
Called metaphysical only because, like metaphysics, it was hard to understand. John Donne in the 17th Century originated the type; it is in vogue nowadays, and Futurians have written much stuff of this sort. Its peculiar characteristic is that it compares things, as in figures of speech, that have only one characteristic in common, or perhaps none as far as you can see. It teases the intellect, however, with the feeling that it does mean something if you can just figure it out. An illustration being worth a thousand words, here's a bit by Kornbluth:
"Behold here an extinguished thing
Less high than it is wide;
It is a ladder's lowest rung
With grass on either side."