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The Metaphysical poets of the seventeenth century enjoyed creating particularly audacious metaphors and similes to compare very unlike things, and drawing attention to how skilfully they could sustain this comparison; this became known as the conceit. The classic example is probably Donne's 'The Flea', in which a flea-bite is compared to a marriage, and like most conceits, the extended comparison is more notable for its invention than its believability.

Within the Archive, a good example is Michael Donaghy's 'Machines', comparing a piece of harpsichord music to a bicycle, while drawing attention to its own balancing act in its opening line. The elaborate development of the piano/feminine imagery in George Szirtes' 'Piano' suggests a conceit, but as it is more modest about drawing attention to itself, some critics may prefer to think of this as an extended metaphor.

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The conceit of the body as luggage animates Peter Goldsworthy's 'Morbid Song'.

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