Poems of Puritan Authors: Themes of Religious Beliefs in a God-Centric Life
646 Words3 Pages
Domestic Life in Poetry
Since well before the United States became its own independent nation, the people of this land have worked to develop a purely unique identity, which was at least in the beginning, ruled by the religious beliefs of the population. Part of the structure of this identity, as with the cultural identity of any developing nation, has been created through the literature of American authors. When the Puritans came to the New World, they led a life that was focused on their religious beliefs. The church, prayer, and devotion to God were what dictated the behaviors of all people and the cultural development of those people. They left England to escape persecution because their religious practices demanded a rigid interpretation of the Bible, and the leading of a very simple life with stoic and unceremonious religious services. Anne Bradstreet, a Puritan, is arguably the most famous writer to come out of this period. However, there were other poets writing in this time as well including male poets Michael Wigglesworth and Edward Taylor. In comparing the three, and taking particular interest in Anne Bradstreet's poem "Contemplations," it becomes evident that religion was an integral part of Puritan life, permeating into all other parts of life.
In both the poems of Wigglesworth and Taylor, the reader cannot help but notice a somber tone. Their poems are reflective of the Puritan belief in a God-centric life and that all their endeavors should express their