(c. 1572-1631) an English poet who is now regarded as the greatest of the metaphysical poets. In his youth he was a law student, soldier, drinker, lover and writer of love poems which are famous for their original and surprising comparisons. In one, for example, he compares a woman to a newly discovered continent: ‘Oh, my America! my new-found land!’ In 1615 he became an Anglican priest, and six years later Dean of St Paul's Cathedral. He became famous as a religious speaker and writer, putting the same powerful emotion and intellect into his religious poetry as he had put into his love poems.