Essay: The Prologue by Anne Bradstreet

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This essay is about the poetry The Prologue written by Anne Bradsteet. The point of his poetry is to capture his  imaginative flexibility as much as his distressed anguish, while at the same time considering his poem as part of an prevailing concern with personal need for heaven and with how Taylor as a poet can best serve God and in what way.

The point of his poetry is to capture his  imaginative flexibility as much as his distressed anguish, while at the same time considering his poem as part of an prevailing concern with personal need for heaven and with how Taylor as a poet can best serve God and in what way. Taylor’s liking for extended metaphors is evident in Huswifery the poem is representative of Taylor’s recurrent use of spinning and weaving expressions, frequently in relationship to poetic language or the need for the “Cloathd in Holy robes for glory” (Taylor) of righteousness that prepares individuals for the Lord’s Supper and union with Christ.

As mentioned earlier importance of Anne Bradford cannot be denied given that she is the first North American to publish a book of poems, as a Puritan, as a woman. In case of The Prologue, Bradstreet’s refined verse tries to conform to the puritanical tradition, however in spite of the simple style that she uses she perfects many of the standard poetic principle used by men of her time and her work is a subtle assertion of women’s capabilities in the literary field.

It was typical for male poets in the sixteenth and seventeenth century to admit their unworthiness through derision of their literary talents, and so when Bradstreet does this in “The Prologue” it is an act of conformity to traditional literary principles (Blackstock 226). Yet it is an act often recognized as ironic, as many reviewers believe that she purposely disparaged her talent as a means to give her writing with an endorsement. However Daly emphasize that this understanding, coming from the context of the power seeking society, shows only part of the picture. In Early America a great anxiety existed over the humiliating potential of too much power (Daly 5). As a result, Daly suggests one should discover from Bradstreet that humility can serve as an “immunization against the derangements of power” (5).

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