Rating: Five out of five stars
Anne Bradstreet is America’s first published poet, and the country’s first female writer. She did not intend to be known; as it was common belief that women, especially Puritan women, should not write, as the pastime would take away from a woman’s homemaking and child rearing duties. But Anne shows herself to be capable of being a wonderful mother, a loving wife, and a perfect Puritan (as she was one of the Elect), as well as a writer.
Her poems are all very personal, giving us a look at the depth of love she had for her family and God. She is mostly known for her poems “To My Dear and Loving Husband,” and “Upon the Burning of Our House,” but she should also be recognized as not only America’s first poet, but also America’s first playwright and feminist.
In regards to the former, Bradstreet writes a beautiful piece, “A Dialogue Between Old England and New,” in which England and America speak to each other as a woeful mother and a consoling, but independent, daughter. In regards to the latter, Bradstreet writes a poem as an elegy for the Queen, writing, “Nay Masculines, you have thus taxt us long,/ But she, though dead, will vindicate our wrong./ Let such as say our Sex is void of Reason,/ Know t’is a Slander now,/ but once was Treason.”
Bradstreet’s writing is both progressive and traditional, portraying the great amount of passion she had for the life she was given. I recommend this book for anyone interested in Puritanism, poetry, feminism, and anyone who wants to read about Bradstreet beyond the sparse credit she is given in the classroom.
This review can also be found on Goodreads.
Picture from Amazon.