This week marks the anniversary of the death of Puritan poet Anne Bradstreet …
We honor the occasion with five of our favorite Anne Bradstreet poems …
Anne Bradstreet (née Dudley; March 20, 1612 – September 16, 1672) was the most prominent of early English poets of North America and first writer in England’s North American colonies to be published. She is the first Puritan figure in American Literature and notable for her large corpus of poetry, as well as personal writings published posthumously.
Born to a wealthy Puritan family in Northampton, England, Bradstreet was a well-read scholar especially affected by the works of Du Bartas. Married at 16, her parents and young family migrated at the time of the founding of Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630. A mother of eight children and the wife and daughter of public officials in New England, Bradstreet wrote poetry in addition to her other duties. Her early works read in the style of Du Bartas, but her later writings develop into her unique style of poetry which centers on her role as a mother, her struggles uwith the sufferings of life, and her Puritan faith. Her first collection, The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America, was widely read in America and England. (via Wikipedia)
The Author to Her Book
Found in the book
The Poems of Anne Bradstreet
(Available as FREE Ebook)
via Google Books
Thou ill-form’d offspring of my feeble brain,
Who after birth didst by my side remain,
Till snatched from thence by friends, less wise than true,
Who thee abroad, expos’d to publick view,
Made thee in raggs, halting to th’ press to trudge,
Where errors were not lessened (all may judg).
At thy return my blushing was not small,
My rambling brat (in print) should mother call,
I cast thee by as one unfit for light,
Thy Visage was so irksome in my sight;
Yet being mine own, at length affection would
Thy blemishes amend, if so I could:
I wash’d thy face, but more defects I saw,
And rubbing off a spot, still made a flaw.
I stretched thy joynts to make thee even feet,
Yet still thou run’st more hobling then is meet;
In better dress to trim thee was my mind,
But nought save home-spun Cloth, i’ th’ house I find.
In this array ’mongst Vulgars mayst thou roam.
In Criticks hands, beware thou dost not come;
And take thy way where yet thou art not known,
If for thy Father askt, say, thou hadst none:
And for thy Mother, she alas is poor,
Which caus’d her thus to send thee out of door.
Reading for the Common Good
From ERB Editor Christopher Smith
"This book will inspire, motivate and challenge anyone who cares a whit about the written word, the world of ideas, the shape of our communities and the life of the church."
-Karen Swallow Prior
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