A highly ingenious kind of conceit widely used by the Metaphysical poets, who explored all areas of knowledge to find in the esoteric or even the commonplace startling, unusual and telling analogies of their ideas. The use of the metaphysical conceit as a controlling image in their poetry marks the poetry of this period.

"The metaphysical conceit can strike from our minds the same spark of recognition that the poet had, and can give us an understanding of a real but previously unsuspected similarity that is enlightening. It can speak to both our minds and our emotions with a great force." (C. Hugh Holman, A Handbook to Literature)