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Anne Bradstreet: Poems Essays | GradeSaver
With the rise of the feminist movement in the middle of the twentieth century, there was a surge of interest in the study of Bradstreet s work. Her formal poetry, while drawing the least comment, sparks the most disagreement. Many critics consider it forgettable; others praise it for technical, if not imaginative, skill. More attention has been paid the later lyric poems and with far more critical agreement; though differing in degree, admiration is the common response to Bradstreet’s later work. Yet, much of the critical study exhibits a greater interest in Bradstreet herself, her feelings and personal growth, than in her writing. Seeing in her a figure of inspiration, many feminist critics have focused on her womanhood and her place in the history of female authors, looking upon her production of poetry under conditions of illness, pioneering, and mothering as a Herculean effort.
Anne Bradstreet: Poems Essay Questions | GradeSaver
Bradstreet’s later work is quite different. It has been suggested that The Tenth Muse would be of only superficial historical significance if not for the lasting quality of Bradstreet’s later poetry. Here, Bradstreet turned to a more personal style of expression. Thoughts on her ill nesses, the death of loved ones, the raising of her children, and anxiety for her husband away on business are expressed in poems written over a period of thirty years. While she had begun poetizing her reflections on personal subjects before the publication of The Tenth Muse, it was not until its publication that this type of expression came to dominate her work. Bradstreet also began to write prose works in this later period: autobiographical reminiscences intended for the benefit of her children, and her ”Meditations Divine and Morall,” often considered among the finest aphorisms on the human condition predating those of Benjamin Franklin.
Anne Bradstreet Essay - UniversalEssays
Death is something that all men and women must confront, but during the colonial era, when Anne Bradstreet wrote her poems, it was much more frequent, abrupt, and common. Diseases, Indian attacks, harsh weather, failed crops, and rough sea voyages made colonial life very difficult, and death stalked life closely. Bradstreet confronts the very real possibility of death in some of her works. Two of her poems feature her ruminations on death while being ill ("For Deliverance from a Fever" and "Upon a Fit of Sickness"), and in "Before the Birth of One of Her Children," she realizes that she could die in childbirth, as many women did. In the Quaternions, she also writes about a variety of things that might afflict the body or cause death (natural disasters, war). Bradstreet acknowledges the reality of death, but not its finality. As a Puritan, death is not entirely frightening or unwelcome because of what comes after it. Bradstreet believes in the eternal life, where she might be reunited with her family and friends, and meet her maker. In this way, having faith in the afterlife softened the looming reality of death that existed in colonial times.