Masab Mansoor 10/8/12 English III 5H Ms. Sanchez Anne Bradstreet: Uncustomary and Unique A seventeenth century poetic writer, Anne Bradstreet is a very important figure in American Literature history. Born in 1612 in England, she came to America as part of a fleet of Puritan emigrants in 1630. Bradstreet is considered by many to be the first American poet. Her writing style is typical of Puritan writing in some cases, and in other cases it is atypical of Puritan writing. Being a Puritan woman, Anne Bradstreet incorporated many ideas like religion into her writings, as religion was a fundamental, pivotal focus of Puritan society and life.
In her poem “To My Dear and Loving Husband,” Bradstreet wrote, “The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray” (10). In this line Bradstreet is talking about praying to the Lord and heavens about rewarding her loving husband. This poem is more romantic than typical Puritan writing. This line is an example how Bradstreet included Puritan concepts like religion and worship even into her more personal, romantic poetic writings. In Bradstreet’s poem “Upton the Burning of Our House, July 10th 1666,” Bradstreet in multiple instances wrote in a typical Puritan style, one with a focus on religion and the Lord.
In lines 8-9 of the poem, Bradstreet wrote, “And to my God my heart did cry to strengthen me in my distress. ” In this line, Bradstreet said that when her house burned down, her heart cried to God to give her strength in the tough time she was going to. Bradstreet showed how she believed in God as the one who provides strength in time of need. Also, in the same poem, Bradstreet wrote, “Thou hast an house on high erect framed by that mighty Architect” (43-44). God is the Architect that Bradstreet wrote about in these lines, and the Kingdom of Heaven is the “house on high erect”.
Bradstreet showed that her focus was not on her burned house, but rather the house that God has for her in His glorious Kingdom. While Bradstreet does have many cases where she wrote in a typical Puritan style, she also wrote in a style atypical to regular Puritan writing. For example, in Bradstreet’s poem “To My Dear and Loving Husband,” she wrote, “If ever two were one, then surely we. If ever man were loved by wife, then thee” (1-2). In these lines, Bradstreet expressed her love for her husband quite explicitly and openly, which was not the typical Puritan writing style.
Puritan women did not express their views and opinions publicly as it was frowned upon, especially one of such romantic content. Lines 4-5 of the same poem further show Bradstreet’s poetic romanticism when she challenged other women, saying “Compare with me, ye women, if you can. I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold. ” This open provocation in which Bradstreet challenged and dared women to compare her love for her husband to their love for their husbands was quite atypical of normal Puritan writing.
Not only did Bradstreet voice her romantic views, she challenged others to compare their love to hers. This romanticism that Bradstreet constantly included in the content of this poem showed that in some cases, she displayed a writing style atypical to normal Puritan writing. Bradstreet implemented a unique writing style in her poetry, one that included aspects of typical Puritan writing, like the focus on religion, as well as aspects that were not typical of Puritan writing, including her romanticism.
Both poems, “To My Dear and Loving Husband” and “Upon the Burning of Our House, July 10th 1666” show how Bradstreet very interestingly mixed her two styles to give a distinct feel to her poetry; the juxtaposition between the typical Puritan style and the atypical romantic style brought a unique style to her writing. Her distinctive writing is what makes her one of the most important figures in the history of American Literature.
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