Anne Bradstreet Puritan Poet b. 1612, Northamptonshire, England



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Anne Bradstreet – Puritan Poet

b. 1612, Northamptonshire, England

d. September 16, 1672, Andover, Massachusetts Bay Colony
-One of the first poets to write English verse in the American colonies.

-Father, Thomas Dudley, was chief steward to Earl of Lincoln

-She grew up in cultured circumstances.

-Married Simon Bradstreet when she was 16

-Two years later she, her husband and parents sailed for America.

-Settled in Massachusetts Bay.

-Wrote poems while raising eight children

-Family moved frequently, from Massachusetts colony, to Cambridge to Ipswich and then to Andover

-Poems were taken without her permission, by her brother-in-law for publication in England

-Entitled The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America (1650)

-Most poems were written for her family and show her commitment to Puritan life.

-Early poetry imitated the style of English poets, but later poetry was considered warm and natural relating her experiences as a wife, mother and woman in 17th century New England.


“Upon the Burning of our House” – Bradstreet comes to terms with the loss of her home and her possessions in a fire.
Literary Elements:
Inversion – transition of word order to force rhyme and rhythm in the poem. Also serves to emphasize certain words and concepts.
Metaphor – a figure of speech that is a comparison between two unlike things. Example: “the mighty Architect” is a metaphor for God.

Extended Metaphor – a metaphor that goes beyond one line in a work of poetry.
Speaker or Point of View – The speaker is the voice of the poem, similar to the narrator in a work of literature. Sometimes the speaker’s voice is that of the poet; sometimes it is that of a fictional person or even a thing.
Question: How does the structure of lines 27 through 40 suggest that the speaker is presenting a dialog or debate with herself? What is the inner conflict that is represented by the fire?
“To my Dear and Loving Husband” – Bradstreet expresses her devotion to her husband and uses her faith in God to identify the rewards her husband will receive for his love for his wife.

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