Anne Bradstreet
Anne Bradstreet
 Born Anne Dudley in Northampton, England in
 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”
Anne Bradstreet
Types of Poetry
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)
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
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
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
Hypertext site:
From Meditations, Divine and Moral
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
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
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
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
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
From Meditations, Divine and Moral
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.

Anne Bradstreet - Faulkner University