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Anne Bradstreet Essay Research Paper

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.