Not very often we covered poetry older than the eighteenth century. Well, let us change that with the poem the author to her book by the hand of Anne Bradstreet.
About the poet
Anne Bradstreet was born on March 1612 and was to become one of the most important poets of the seventeenth century in North America. She was the first writer who lived in a colony and got her work published in England. Even after she died, her work that was unpublished made its way to the public. This resembles a great other American poet; Emily Dickinson. The difference is that Dickinson’s fame rose after she died.
Bradstreet was the descendant of a wealthy family from the English Northampton. Due to the fact that her family had a fairly amount of money, she was able to he schooled. Even when she married and gave birth to (eight) children, she found time to write.
Her first work was influenced by Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas, a French Huguenot of the sixteenth century. Later she developed her own style, greatly inspired by her own life.
The author to her book
Thou ill-form’d offspring of my feeble brain,
Who after birth did’st by my side remain,
Till snatcht from thence by friends, less wise than true,
Who thee abroad expos’d to public view,
Made thee in rags, halting to th’ press to trudge,
Where errors were not lessened (all may judge).
At thy return my blushing was not small,
My rambling brat (in print) should mother call.
I cast thee by as one unfit for light,
Thy Visage was so irksome in my sight,
Yet being mine own, at length affection would
Thy blemishes amend, if so I could.
I wash’d thy face, but more defects I saw,
And rubbing off a spot, still made a flaw.
I stretcht thy joints to make thee even feet,
Yet still thou run’st more hobbling than is meet.
In better dress to trim thee was my mind,
But nought save home-spun Cloth, i’ th’ house I find.
In this array, ‘mongst Vulgars mayst thou roam.
In Critics’ hands, beware thou dost not come,
And take thy way where yet thou art not known.
If for thy Father askt, say, thou hadst none;
And for thy Mother, she alas is poor,
Which caus’d her thus to send thee out of door.