Anne Bradstreet Essay, Research Paper
Anne Bradstreet was one of the first female poets in the early Americas. She wrote The
Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America in 1650, and this collection of poems is considered the
first book of original poetry written in colonial America. In her Poems she talks about her love
of God, and her respect for life. Although some of Bradstreet s verse is conventional, most of it
is direct and shows a sensitivity to beauty.
Anne Bradstreet often mentions her love and respect for God throughout her poems. In
her poem The Flesh and The Spirit, she describes a conversation she believes a person s flesh
and spirit would be having over the earthly desires. The spirit is trying to convince the flesh that
it doesn t need to live for the world s desires. This poem describes the way she believes all
people should live, with a true love for God, and not the fleshly desires, and sinful pleasures.
This conversation relates to the fighting back and forth that happens when a person is trying to
figure out whether or not he/she should do something bad; in a sense, it is their conscience
fighting with their desires. At the end of the poem Bradstreet describes heaven to the flesh,
trying to entice it to good by the riches of heaven. In the last line, Take thou the world, and all
that will, the spirit is telling the flesh that that the world is all his, and the spirit doesn t want to
have anything to do with it. I think that this conversational poem is a great way to get across her
beliefs. It does a good job of telling the reader how she feels about heaven. I like this poem
because it describes a way that a person could go about telling another person about their love of
God. I also like the way it describes Heaven, as being More glorious than the glist ring sun.
She uses words that make the reader able to see what she is describing in their minds, while still
leaving a part of it to their longing imagination, that makes them want to see this place for
Another poem that shows her love for God, is Upon the Burning of Our House. In the
second stanza, she says that she cried out to God, asking him to strengthen her in her distress,
and not to leave her without a sense of being taken care of. She trusted her life to the Lord, and
because of that, she felt that he would help her through all the trials and temptations in her life.
She fully believes that the Lord will help her heart to feel at peace while her house is burning
down right in front of her. In the seventh stanza, Bradford talks about how her wealth doesn t
abide on earth, but in Heaven. She ends the poem saying farewell to her house, but she knows
that her treasure and hope lie above, so she trusts the Lord did what needed to be done. She also
describes a little bit of heaven in the eighth stanza of this poem. Through her many mentions of
God, and of Heaven, she shows how high they were held to be in her society in the early
American colonies. I like that she is telling the readers how the early colonists made the
foundation of the United States on their belief in God. I like the way she states her belief openly
that she totally trusts God with her whole heart and soul, and that she writes about it so openly. It
was common to write about it then, but for her poems that mention God so lovingly to be read so
much in schools today is surprising, because the schools try to stay as far away from the subject
of Christianity as they can get.
Bradstreet also leads her readers to believe that she holds the beauty of life very highly.
In her poem, In Memory of My Dear Grandchild Elizabeth Bradstreet, Who deceased August
1665 Being a Year and a Half Old, she describes many instances of things when their seasons
come to an end, they fall, or die. She states in the last line that the Lord guides nature and fate.
She is sorrowful that her grandchild died, but she believes that her season on earth was over, and
it was her time to die. In the second stanza she describes how many things are only here on earth
until their season is over. One expression she uses is when to illustrate that when a person or
things time comes to an end is, Plums and apples throughly ripe do fall. She also expresses
her love for life in her poem, Before the Birth of One of Her Children. In this poem she writes
about how she loves her child, and that when she dies not to be too grievous, because everyone
dies when it comes to their time, and it is inevitable. She loved her child so much, even before it
was born, that she wrote about her death to console her child in her time of mourning. She cared
so much for her/him that she didn t want it to be too sad about it s mother death. I think that she
is expressing the way a mother feels for her child the best way she knows, through writing
poems. She shows her love so eloquently, that its hard not to feel some sort of sorrow for her
child, as if the reader was there when Bradstreet died. Although, this is also one negative point
about this poem, it makes the reader sorrowful about her death, and brings them to think about
her childs life after it s mother is killed.
Although Anne Bradstreet s poetry is traditional to that time period, it also shows a
sensitivity to beauty. Most of her poems mention the beauty of a person, flowers and plants, or
heaven. She describes them with beautiful words. In her poem The Flesh and the Spirit, she
describes heaven, saying that no other city on earth can parallel to heaven. Then goes on to
describe the streets thereof transparent gold, and, The gates of pearl both rich and clear, and
a Crustal river there doth run. And she says that withering age will never come there, but
beauty shall be bright and clear. In another of her poems, Contemplations, she describes the
beauty of the land in the colonies. She is amazed by the sight, she didn t known what to expect
to see when they got to the new world, but when she saw it she thought it was beautiful. She
describes the trees to be richly clad, but yet void of pride in the first stanza. She then went on
to describe that their leaves by saying Their leaves and fruits seemed painted, but was true, Of
green red and yellow, mixed hue. Bradstreet says that her senses were rapt at this delectable
view. She was so enticed by the beauty of this new world, that she tried to describe it, and say
that it entranced her. In the third stanza she describes one of the might oaks trees on the east
coast. It was so tall that she says it ruffles the clouds. She also wonders about how many winters
has passed since it had been planted, and how many dangers it has gone through. Through the
many mentions of beauty in her poems, she shows that she values the landscape, and the sight of
the land. She describes Heaven with so much love! I have never seen another writer outside of
the bible describe Heaven so descriptively. She uses very vivid words to describe Heaven, and
that probably comes from her lover for her religion.
Anne Bradstreet was an unusual writer for her period of time. It was looked down upon
to be a woman writer, and she was brave enough to show her own thoughts on her society, which
was also something looked down upon. It took Bradstreet a great deal of effort to become the
writer that she was. Today she is known for her realistic, yet formal poems that show the beauty
of life and her respect for it. She was a rare happening in the early colonies and she worked hard
to achieve her place in history.