Poetry Information

Anne Bradstreet, To My Dear and Loving Husband, A Discussion


"To My Dear and Loving Husband" was written by America's first female poet, the Puritan, Anne Bradstreet. In fact, Anne Bradstreet is one of only a handful of female American poets during the first 200 years of America's history. After Bradstreet, one can list only Phillis Wheatley, the 18th century black female poet, Emma Lazarus, the 19th century poet whose famous words appear on the Statue of Liberty, and the 19th century Emily Dickinson, America's most famous female poet.

"To My Dear and Loving Husband" has several standard poetic features. One is the two line rhyme scheme. Another is the anaphora, the repetition of a phrase, in the first three lines. And a third is the popular iambic pentameter.

Iambic pentameter is characterized by an unrhymed line with five feet or accents. Each foot contains an unaccented syllable and an accented syllable, as in "da Dah, da Dah, da Dah, da Dah, da Dah."

The subject of Anne Bradstreet's love poem is her professed love for her husband. She praises him and asks the heavens to reward him for his love. The poem is a touching display of love and affection and extraordinarily uncommon for the Puritan era of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in which Anne Bradstreet lived.

Puritan women were expected to be reserved, domestic, and subservient to their husbands. They were not expected or allowed to exhibit their wit, charm, intelligence, or passion. John Winthrop, the Massachusetts governor, once remarked that women who exercised wit or intelligence were apt to go insane.

Anne Bradstreet was born Anne Dudley in 1612 in England. She married Simon Bradstreet when she was 16 and they both sailed with her family to America in 1630. The difficult, cold voyage to America took 3 months to complete. John Winthrop was also a passenger on the trip. The voyage landed in Boston and the passengers joined the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

The men in Anne Bradstreet's family were managers and politicians. Both her father and her husband became Massachusetts governors. Her husband, Simon, often traveled for weeks throughout the colony as its administrator.

Anne Bradstreet's poem, "To My Dear and Loving Husband," was a response to her husband's absence.

Very little is known about Anne Bradstreet's life in Massachusetts. There are not portraits of her and she does not even have a grave marker. She and her family moved several times, each time further away from Boston into the frontier. Anne and Simon had 8 children during a 10 year period, and all the children survived healthy and safe, a remarkable accomplishment considering the health and safety hazards of the period.

Anne Bradstreet was highly intelligent and largely self-educated. She took herself seriously as an intellectual and a poet, reading widely in history, science, art, and literature. However, as a good Puritan woman, Bradstreet did not make her accomplishments public.

Bradstreet wrote poetry for herself, family, and friends, never meaning to publish them. Consider that her friend, Anne Hutchinson was intellectual, educated and led women's prayer meetings where alternative religious beliefs were discussed. She was labeled a heretic and banished from the colony. Hutchinson eventually died in an Indian attack. Is it any wonder that Anne Bradstreet was hesitant to publish her poetry and call attention to herself?

Anne Bradstreet's early poems were secretly taken by her brother-in-law to England and published in a small volume when she was 38. The volume sold well in England, but the poems were not nearly as accomplished as her later works.

Bradstreet's later works were not published during her lifetime. Her poems about her love for her husband were private and personal, meant to be shared with her family and friends group only.

Though her health was frequently a concern, especially during childbirth, Anne Bradstreet lived until 60 years of age.

Enjoy "To My Dear and Loving Husband," a remarkable accomplishment.

To My Dear and Loving Husband

If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were lov'd 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 doth hold.
My love is such that Rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee, give recompence.
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 persever,
That when we live no more, we may live ever.

*****************************

Garry Gamber is a public school teacher and entrepreneur. He writes articles about real estate, health and nutrition, and internet dating services. He is the owner of http://www.Anchorage-Homes.com and http://www.TheDatingAdvisor.com.


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


Mashable

Roll your eyes all you like, but Instagram poets are redefining the genre for millennials
Mashable
We millennials like our poetry typed out in neat fonts on rustic pastel backgrounds, centred in a tiny square on a small screen. We read short, simple, and relatable poems which may strike a chord with us for a second before we scroll on to the next ...



Forbes

This 23-Year-Old Bosnian Is Running An Online Poetry Contest To Fight Hate Speech In The Balkans
Forbes
A heart-warming example of how young activists are using digital technology to heal the painful war wounds of the Balkans and rebuild a healthy social fabric in the region is the online poetry contest Mili Dueli (English: Sweet Duels). Bosnian Nermin ...



theberkshireedge.com

Belle Fox-Martin's 'Stone Pears' blends poetry, micro-stories in a refreshing, unexpected collection
theberkshireedge.com
Great Barrington — “Stone Pears,” the newest collection of poetry by Belle Fox-Martin, is rife with allusions to spirituality and nature and the space in which the two often collide. Many of the poems in the slim, black volume hinge on the transition ...



Charlotte Observer

National Poetry Slam champs at home base for a monthly slam
Charlotte Observer
“It was a gamble that paid off,” says Slammaster Bluz, aka Boris Rogers, an internationally ranked slam poet and the team's coach. “We're known for doing poems that go against the grain and buck the system. Some teams follow a trend of what's popular ...
Today Is National Black Poetry Day. Here's a Totally Biased List of 10 Black Poems You Should HearThe Root
Backstage Stillwater hosted Red Dirty Poetry on TuesdayDaily O'Collegian

all 4 news articles »


The Daily Tar Heel

West End Poetry Festival's star-studded lineup explores diversity in poetry
The Daily Tar Heel
Don't fret if you're stranded on campus over the long weekend, however — you can stave off your boredom and cabin fever with poetry. The annual West End Poetry Festival will begin Wednesday with an ice cream social from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Johnny's Gone ...
Dodge Poetry Festival 2018 in Newark to feature edgy, urban, hip hop voices - and SapphireNorthJersey.com

all 2 news articles »


The Sydney Morning Herald

Poetry bookshop Collected Works reaches its final stanza
The Sydney Morning Herald
If the Collected Works bookshop were a poem it would be an epic, one that spanned if not centuries then at least decades. Not a grand, historical work, more a gentle, contemplative one. But, of course, it's not, and soon the shop with poetry at its ...

and more »


KCRA Sacramento

Poetry teacher inspires students to find their voice
KCRA Sacramento
Larry Barron, aka LB the Poet, isn't your typical teacher. Advertisement. Once a week, Barron teaches a spoken word workshop at Winston-Salem Street School, an alternative high school for at-risk students who have struggled in traditional settings.

and more »


The Seattle Times

Barbara Kingsolver's latest is more polemic than poetry
The Seattle Times
“Unsheltered” is an ambitious addition to Kingsolver's work and a pointed call for the liberal values she holds dear. It will appeal to her loyal followers but probably not to those she hopes to convert.

and more »


Atlanta Journal Constitution

7 unforgettable quotes from black poets in honor of #BlackPoetryDay
Atlanta Journal Constitution
From Phillis Wheatley — America's first published black female poet — to beloved writers Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou and James Baldwin, the contributions of black lyricists have revolutionized the country's arts and social landscape. » RELATED: An ...

and more »


Dazed

Watch Robyn deconstruct AI-generated poetry
Dazed
Back in 2010, when she was promoting her boundary-breaking record Body Talk, Robyn sang the immortal words: “I've got news for you, / Fembots have feelings too.” Speaking to Pitchfork at the time, she explained: “The classic, dystopian theory about the ...


Google News

home | site map | Art of the Ocean
© 2006