Bradstreet sailed with her husband on the Arbella;
she would have heard Winthrop's sermon "A Model of Christian Charity."
Husband a diplomat, often absent.
Moved from Ipswich to the comparative isolation
of Andover, Mass: it was in this comparative isolation that she wrote most
of her private poetry, the poetry which reflected her own inner feelings
and her relationship to her family.
Anne's sister, Sarah Cain, was rejected by her
husband and finally excommunicated for prophecying and for "gross immorality"
Good source: Ann Stanford, Anne Bradstreet: The Worldly Puritan (1975)
3. Sources and Influences
The Tenth Muse, Lately Sprung up in America
(1650). Ms. had been taken to London by her brother-in-law in 1647
and published there; first published volume of poems written by a resident
in the New World.
It was warmly received in London but contained
none of the poems on which Bradstreet's current reputation depends.
The quaternions: four long poems that demonstrate
a range of historical and philosophical discourses.
"The Four Elements"
"The Four Humors of Man"
"The Four Seasons"
Four Ages of Man
Her more complex poetry, composed over the next
two decades, was collected six years after her death in a volume entitled
Scheick: AB's later verse moved toward greater
sincerity and independence of expression.
Ann Stanford: None of the elegies expresses her
best work (p. 36) but they do show a remarkable lack of emphasis or any
Three elegies: Sir Philip Sidney (1638); Du Bartas
(1641); Queen Elizabeth (1643), all of whom she admired. In
Honour of that High and Mighty Princess, Queen ELIZABETH
Edward Taylor had a copy of the second edition
(1678) in his library.
Influenced by Ramean philosophy.
Pierre de la Ramée, a Protestant killed in the St. Bartholomew's
Day Massacre, favored liberation, sincerity, and clarity. His philosophy
was a revolt against empty scholasticism; he debased the Aristotelian syllogism
and elevated the doctrine of contraries. Ideas could be immediately
distinguished by setting them against their opposites.
Thus also the Puritans often established
their points through disjunctions.
Also, great writers who spoke of their
inward being were speaking from nature herself, and through them, nature
Implications: trusting the inner light,
natural reason became important, although Anne Hutchinson let it go too
far for the Puritans.
Imagine scene or see subject
Draw arguments regarding eternal truths
or relation to God from the subject
Colloquy with God involving the will, in
which the meditator
3. Emblem tradition: emblem books. Pictures
accompanied by a text, usually in verse. The text explained the symbols
or characters involved in the picture and drew a moral from them.
determines to have more faith
to cease from sin
to abide by God's laws
to come to moral discernment
4. Spenser. See "Goe little booke" from
the Shepheardes Calender
If for thy father askt, say, thou hadst
And for thy mother, she alas is poor,
Which caus'd her thus to send the out
5. Metaphysical Poets:
Secular poetry Cleveland, Marvell, Cowley
Religious: Herbert, Vaughan, Crashaw
Poems opposed to rich mellifluousness and idealized
view of human nature and sexual love in Elizabethan poetry.
Donne: rough give-and-take of actual speech
poems in the form of arguments
paradox, pun, startling parallels in simile
and metaphor (metaphysical conceit)
Conceit: figure of speech that establishes
a striking/elaborate parallel between two very dissimilar things or situations.
discordia concors: combination of dissimilar
images, or discovery of occult resemblances in things apparently unlike--yoked
by violence together.
4. Common features also found
in later poets (from Alicia Ostriker)
1. Self-effacing "apology" (art claiming artlessness)
gradually becomes more authoritative poetic persona (bold assertion followed
2. Pride in ability to instruct and experience
3. Distaste for dualism and hierarchy; preference
4. Attachment to nature and the body (even
5. Humor and irony which allow her to say
6. Self-exploration through historic and
7. Dwelling on the domestic as authoritative
8. Language and imagery often direct, relatively