Monday, November 9, 2015

Poetry Spotlight: Anne Bradstreet-- Classics Club Women's Literature

In my second year of college I took an Introduction to Poetry class and I fell in love with reading poetry. Before then, poetry was always a little intimidating and a medium that I didn't have much experience with. But after that class, I became addicted to reading poetry, and during the class I actually found myself thinking in and expressing myself in poetry- which I never would have guessed would happen in a million years. So, with this series I'm here to share some of my favorite poems in a way that I'm sure will turn out rambley and unorganized.

See my previous Poetry Spotlight posts HERE

Today, I'm spotlighting Anne Bradstreet, an early Colonial- American poet. 
Anne Bradstreet was born into a prominent Puritan family in 1612, which migrated from England to Massachusetts Bay in 1630. Her father would become governor of the colony, and years later her husband Simon Bradstreet and her brother Joseph would become governor as well. Anne was given the typical education of an aristocratic family, and was educated in the bible, literature, and languages. She was eighteen and two years married when she came to the colonies. She and her husband enjoyed a loving marriage and had eight children. Simon Bradstreet recognized and encouraged his wife's talents, and she wrote poetry that was published for the elite classes in the colonies and England. 

Bradstreet's poetry was published with slight political intentions by her brother-in-law to promote the necessity of continuing the Massachusetts colonies with the intentions of converting Native Americans. The poetry that was published publicly was religious and prestigious, but Bradstreet is now known for her private poetry that was not published during her lifetime and was addressed to her friends and family, particularly her husband. 

Bradstreet is often referred to as and considered to be the first American poet, and was very well-known and praised for her poetry during her lifetime.  

Click the poem title to read it

The Author to Her Book: Perhaps Bradstreet's most well-known and anthologized poem, this poem discusses the love and frustration between an author and their creation. The metaphor of the book as a child works really well in this poem, and the idea of seeing all the flaws in something you have finished or turned over for public view is extremely realtable.  

Upon the Burning of Our House July 10th, 1666: The religious themes and influence is very clear in this poem. The poem presents the idea of the needlessness of earthly possessions and homes, because the speaker feels their real home will be in Heaven with God after they have died. It's quite a beautifully written poem, with a hint of emotion.  

Before the Birth of One of Her Children: This poem is Bradstreet's musings on death and a message to her loved ones if she should die during the birth of one of her children. Bradstreet's worries are very clear in this poem, and to see worries of death converted into art is quite a lovely thing.

To My Dear and Loving Husband: This poem is quite romantic and personal, and something that would have only been published after Bradstreet's death. It's a great example of a poem about devoted love, and quite lovely to read. 

Who are some of your favorite poets or poems? I'm also eager to discover new favorites. 

You can see the rest of my posts for the Classics Club Women's Literature Event HERE!    

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