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Anne Bradstreet Is Generally Considered the First American Poet

  • Date Submitted: 04/29/2012 01:22 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 72.3 
  • Words: 642
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Anne Bradstreet is generally considered the first American poet. Born around 1612 near Northampton, England, she married Simon Bradstreet at age 16, and the couple emigrated to the New World in 1630. In such bestselling collections as The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America, Bradstreet wrote of her life as a mother, wife, and daughter during the establishment of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Bradstreet's education gave her advantages to write with authority about politics, history, medicine, and theology. Her personal library of books was said to have numbered over 800, before many were destroyed when her home burned down. This event itself inspired a poem entitled "Upon the Burning of Our House July 10th, 1666". She rejects the anger and grief that this worldly tragedy has caused her and instead looks toward God and the assurance of heaven as consolation, saying:
      "And when I could no longer look,
      I blest His grace that gave and took,
      That laid my goods now in the dust.
      Yea, so it was, and so 'twas just.
      It was his own; it was not mine.
      Far be it that I should repine."
Anne Bradstreet uses a variety of metaphors throughout her poetic works. For instance, in Bradstreet's poem "To My Dear and Loving Husband" she uses several poetic features and one being the use of metaphors. In the middle quatrain of "To My Dear and Loving Husband" Bradstreet states:
"I prize thy love more than whole Mines of gold,
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that Rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee, give recompence."
The role of women is a common theme found in Bradstreet's poems. Bradstreet often uses a sarcastic tone in her poetry.

"To My Dear and Loving Husband"
If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee;
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold
Or all the riches that the East...

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