Close Reading Strategies

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After reading the “Close Reading Strategies” handout, use the steps to do the following assignment.
Directions: First, number the paragraphs. Chunk paragraphs 1,2,3 and chunk paragraphs 4,5,6. Read each chunk of text and summarize the chunks in the left margins.
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Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672)

anne bradstreetPosted on April 30, 2014 by Emily Mace

Painting of Anne Bradstreet by LaDonna Gulley Warrick.

America’s first poet was no stranger to suffering. To escape persecution by the Church of England’s Archbishop Laud, she left her native land where she had lived on the estate of the Earl of Lincoln, where he father was the steward in charge. At the age of eighteen she was one of the Puritans who braved the Atlantic Ocean in the Arabella with her husband, her parents, and other pioneers. Three sickening months at sea, surviving on salt meats, brought them to meet starving survivors when they reached Salem.

One year after their arrival in the New World her father warned friends still at home in England:

If there be any endued with grace, let them come over. For others, I conceive they are not yet fitted for this business. There is not a house where is not one dead, and some houses many. The natural causes seem to be in the want of warm lodging and good diet. Those who landed at Plymouth in winter died of scurvy. Lady Arabella herself, who was aboard their ship which was named for her, died on land just months after they arrived.

These devout Puritan dissenters settled near the Charles River on land first called New Towne-later Cambridge. The cow pasture adjoining the space where they built their houses is now called Harvard Yard. The Bradstreet’s house was located at what is now the corner of Brattle Street and John F. Kennedy Street, otherwise known as Harvard Square. After their most welcome first child, Samuel, was born in Cambridge, the family moved to a wilderness called Ipswich. After several years there, they moved to their permanent home in the still more remote wilderness which they developed and named Andover. Here America’s pioneer poet found strength in spite of many illnesses to write increasingly excellent poems. She now also bore and cared for eight children in spite of the fact that the father’s role as Governor of the community required much travel.

Anne Bradstreet’s brother-in-law, the Reverend John Woodbridge-with or without her permission-released a series of her early poems for publication in London in 1650 titled: The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America. Her finest poems, however, were created later in the wild New World despite her lameness and death-threatening illnesses. The John Harvard Library edition of The Works of Anne Bradstreet published by Harvard University Press carries an introduction by Adrienne Rich.

Among her descendants are William Ellery Channing, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Richard Henry Dana, and Wendell Phillips.

No portrait of Anne Bradstreet exists; her burial site is unknown. America’s first poet, remains an unforgettably alive artist.

Number the lines below. Then chunk lines 1-4, lines 5-6, lines 7-8, lines 9-10, and lines 11-12. Summarize ( not paraphrase) each chunk in the left margin.


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 cloth hold.

My love is such that rivers cannot quench,

Nor ought but love from thee, give recompense.

Thy love is such I can no way repay,

The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.

Then while we live, in love let’s so persevere

That when we live no more, we may live ever.
Read the poem and second time. This time use the 8 Steps to Analyzing Literature to help you analyze the poem. Remember how to infer meaning and consider all parts. Refer to your 8 Steps to Analyzing Literature Handout for help. Happy Reading.

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