Bradstreet´s, “Before the Birth of One of Her Children” is a letter written to her husband expressing true concern of her probability to pass away during labor. Birth rate during the seventeenth century in England ranged from five to eight children per women. The limitations in health care during that period increased the probability of maternal death to one per eight births. Uncertain whether she would withstand her upcoming labor, Bradstreet is motivated to show her concerns and at the same time deliver a farewell message to her husband. As a result, the author achieves to surprise the lector by her ability to convey a direct message in this melancholic memorandum. Bradstreet expresses her acceptance of death as she points out three personal principles: believe that all things in life will end, ask that virtues remain while forgiving flaws, and embrace the idea that loved ones will eventually overcome a painful loss and proceed with their lives.
Anne Bradstreet was America's first noteworthy poet in spite of the fact that she was a woman. Both the daughter and wife of Massachusetts governors, Bradstreet suffered all of the hardships of colonial life, was a mother, and still found time to write. Her poem, "The Author to Her Book," is an example of Bradstreet's excellent use of literary techniques while expressing genuine emotion and using domestic subject matter.
"At thy return my blushing was not small, / My rambling brat (in print) should mother call." (7-8) These two lines show her embarrassment of the book. She was obviously not ready for the book to be expressed to the public, and she was mortified at the amount of mistakes she had made. She was ashamed to call it her book, and symbolized it as a "brat" (8) in her poem. She sees it as an ill-disciplined child for leaving her sight. "Yet being mine own, at length affection would / Thy blemishes amend, if so I could: / I washed thy face, but more defects I saw, / And rubbing off a spot, still made a flaw." (11-14) Bradstreet sees her book as a child that only a mother could love. She wanted to revise the book, but while she was reading the published copy, in her mind making changes, she only came across more problems. She would change one thing that would, in turn, make another thing wrong. She uses a loving yet critical tone for her book in this part of the poem. She does love her book, but, as aforementioned, she was not ready to publish it.
The poem “To my Dear and Loving Husband” by Anne Bradstreet, is not just an exceedingly felt expression of a wife’s marital love and commitment to her husband, as it is about a puritan women who is supposed to be reserved but she makes it her obligation to enlighten her husband of her devotion. A thorough analysis of the poem’s paradox, hyperbole, imagery and repetition reveals how she conveys her message.
Anne Bradstreet's poem, To My Dear and Loving Husband, shows her profound love and undying affection for her husband. For a Puritan woman who is supposed to be reserved, Bradstreet makes it her obligation to enlighten her husband of her devotion. She conveys this message through her figurative language and declarative tone by using imagery, repetition, and paradoxes.
Bradstreet’s fortunes took a turn for the worse in later life. While she had had success in childbearing, her daughter-in-law Mercy, wife of first son Samuel, lost four children in rapid succession and then died giving birth. In the midst of these losses, Bradstreet’s home burned to the ground. The elegies she
Anne Bradstreet was a poet, who explored many different puritanical Christian ideologies in her work. In her poem, “Contemplations,” Bradstreet makes many allusions, which range from biblical stories to Greek mythology figures. Ultimately, however, Bradstreet suggests that man can be vain and sinful, never learning from the past, getting too attached to the world in which they live, taking it for granted, though it is short, or taking the time to get closer to God, and looking to the afterlife.
Her poem “In Reference to Her Children” embodies a more emotional tone than “The Prologue”. Bradstreet personifies birds to metaphorically represent all eight of her children and elaborates on her role as a mother when her children start their own lives as adult. In fact, the poem is an exceptional depiction of motherhood for her children all embarked on separate paths, and Bradstreet expresses her undying love and worry regarding her children, which are feelings most mothers endure when their children depart. In regards to her children facing the dangers of the world, she writes, “Whilst pecking corn and void of care, they fall un’wares in fowler’s snare, or whilst on trees they sit and sing, some untoward boy at them do fling, or whilst allured with bell and glass, the net be spread, and caught, alas, or lest by lime-twigs they be foiled, or by some greedy hawks be spoiled”
Anne Bradstreet is well-recognized because she was the first female American poet. The previous statement makes it seem as if her poems are only noteworthy due to her literary importance in history outweighing her poetic artistry. Luisa Hall in The Influence of Anne Bradstreet’s Innovative Errors explains that “the problem Bradstreet faces...is not the problem of being a woman or being the first American poet, but...fearing she has no right to speak, of fearing her voice cannot insert itself into English literary history” (23). Another writer that supports Hall’s claim is Catherine Sedgwick: “Sedgwick’s ability to champion an expansion of woman’s sphere beyond domestic settings was blunted by “deep inner restraints” that derived from her
What Anne Bradstreet lacks in creative titles, she compensates with skillful and impactful poems. During countless years of oppression, the patriarchy has subjugated women to stricter guidelines of all arts in order to achieve credibility. Similarly, Anne Bradstreet faces the same criticism and thus writes in a way that while receives criticism from many experts, still allows her to revolutionarily be a female Puritan poet within canonical English literature. Although, due to her sex Bradstreet receives more disapproval than male poets of the time. Many scholars criticize Bradstreet’s strict adherence to and fixed meter. Despite these criticisms of doggerel, Bradstreet deserves recognition as an Early American poet through her meter that establishes her as a capable female author, purposeful allusions, and her figurative language.
Bradstreet took a passive approach to get her point across. She used poetry to convey a fear of loss. In her poem “upon the burning of our house”, she concludes that if you put your trust in materialistic things and not in God your life can effortlessly be destroyed. Then straight I ‘gin my heart to chide, And did thy wealth on earth abide? Didst fix thy hope on mold'ring dust? The arm of flesh didst make thy trust? (38-40), while this message is nearly callous in a way, it's brutal meaning is gilded by the benevolence
In her poem, “In Reference to Her Children", Bradstreet explicitly presents the emotions and feelings of a Puritan mother towards her children. She writes of the great pains she took in raising her children: "I nursed them up with pain and care/Nor cost, nor labour did I spare/Till at the last they felt their wing/ Mounted the Trees and learned to sing//" (3-6). She continues to express her deep devotion to her children later on in the poem where she writes, "Great was my pain when I you bred/ Great was my care when I you fed/ Long did I keep you soft and warm/ And with my wings kept off all harm/" (55-58). Her expression of her deep devotion and immense love and care for her children demonstrates that family was a central part of her Puritan life and because of this, her pain upon their departure was so great. In her poem, “The Prologue” Bradstreet writes, "To sing of Wars, of Captains, and of Kings/ Of Cities founded, Common-wealths begun/ For my mean Pen are too superior things/ Or how they all, or each their dates have run/ Let Poets and Historians set these forth// My obscure lines shall not so dim their worth// (1-6). In this text, Bradstreet acknowledges that she does not discuss matters such as wars, kings, and cities in her writings that skilled writers have, her writings focus on more personal matters. She describes her works as
This poem is interpreted as a farewell letter to Bradstreet’s husband. She decides to write the poem since she considers she lies on her death bed while giving birth. In the 16th Century death during childbirth was common, she is afraid of the chances death has with her. She expresses feelings of sorrow and sadness as the poem progresses. Written as an iambic pentameter poem with rhyming couplets. The author combines ideas of death, love and her dismiss from this world. She starts the poem by introducing death “Fading world hath end” (1), “adversity doth still our joys attend” (2), she describes death inevitability and how all thing come to an end. How happiness isn’t eternal. She comes to the conclusion that death is inescapable. Death is coming for the speaker “How soon, my Dear, death may my steps
Anne Bradstreet employs an ornithic metaphor at the very beginning of her rhyming poem "In Reference to her Children, 23 June 1659," to set the stage for an extended metaphor regarding herself and her children being represented by birds.
In the poem Bradstreet tells us about her house and all of her belongings burning down. She tells us that she is upset and will miss he things but then explains why she has nothing to worry about because they are only material things that don't matter. As soon as she sees her house burning, she starts praying and thanking God, “I blest His name who gave and took.”(line 23) This shows how she gets through all of her struggles by using her faith. She lets us know in her poem that she isn't worried about losing her stuff because when she gets to her home in heaven that God has waiting on her, her material things here on earth won't matter.