Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672) Anne Bradstreet Born Anne Dudley in Northampton, England in 1612. Father managed Earl of Lincoln’s estate Provided daughter with excellent educational opportunities during her early years. At age 16, married Simon Bradstreet. Year after their marriage, he was appointed to assist with preparations for Massachusetts Bay Company. In 1630, the Bradstreets (and her father) boarded John Winthrop’s flagship Arabella to begin the Puritans’ journey to the colonies. Anne Bradstreet Poetry reflects Bradstreets’ happy life, despite its hardships. 8 children (all successful and had large families of their own) First in the British colonies to have a book of poetry published. Tenth Must Lately Sprung Up in America Originally published without her knowledge Did make revisions & additions for 2nd edition • published in 1678, 6 years after her death Anne Bradstreet Types of Poetry Religious Meditations Individual prayers from his own distress Published after her death (not meant for public view) Domestic Poems “Upon the Burning of Our House” Love Poems “To My Dear and Loving Husband” Elegiac Poems Epitaphs about her loved ones “In Memory of My Dear Grandchild” Contemplations Anne Bradstreet Types of Poetry Contemplations 33 stanzas • Each was its own entity • All were interrelated Expressed the poet’s recognition of God in nature (a rare subject at that time) Anne Bradstreet Her long poems are reflections & imitations of her favorite poets: Bartas (Divine Weeks & Works – 1605) Salluste Sir Walter Raleigh (History of the World) Anne Bradstreet Poetry reflects trials about her new circumstances in New World Sometimes questions truth & spiritual matters accepted by her religious sect (Puritans). Her poetry does not reflect the avenging God of the Puritans Ideal of divine and tender love predominates Anne Bradstreet “I have often been perplexed that I have not found that constant joy in my pilgrimage and refreshing which I supposed most of the Servants of God have…Yet have I many times sinkings and droopings, and not enjoyed that felicity that sometimes I have done. But when I have been in darkness and seen no light, yet have I desired to stay my self upon the Lord…” Anne Bradstreet Characteristics of her works Self-effacing “apology” Preference for balance Attachment to nature and the body Humor & irony Historic and mythic heroines Domestic as authoritative Direct, simple language & imagery Websites http://www.annebradstreet.com/anne_brad street_poems.htm Hypertext site: http://www.vcu.edu/engweb/webtexts/Brad street/index.html From Meditations, Divine and Moral 1 There is no object that we see, no action that we do, no good that we enjoy, no evil that we feel or fear, but we may make some spiritual advantage of all; and he that makes such improvement is wise as well as pious. From Meditations, Divine and Moral 6 The finest bread hath the least bran, the purest honey the least wax, and the sincerest Christian the least self-love. From Meditations, Divine and Moral 10 Diverse children have their different natures: some are like flesh which nothing but salt will keep from putrefaction, some again like tender fruits that are best preserved with sugar. Those parents are wise that can fit their nurture according to their nature. From Meditations, Divine and Moral 13 The reason why Christians are so loath to exchange this world for a better is because they have more sense than faith: they see what they enjoy; they do but hope for that which is to come. From Meditations, Divine and Moral 19 Corn, till it have past through the mill and been ground to powder, is not fit for bread. God so deals with his servants: he grinds them with grief and pain till they turn to dust, and then are they fit manchet for his mansion. From Meditations, Divine and Moral 21 Iron, till it be thoroughly heat, is uncapable to be wrought; so God sees good to cast some men into the furnace of affliction and then beats them on His anvil into what frame he pleases.