The Author to Her Book

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American poet Anne Bradstreet manipulates a vast, dizzying array of metaphoric techniques in her most widely known poem. “The Author to Her Book” is an extended metaphor comparing the relationship of an author and her writings to the relationship between a parent and a child. Throughout the text, Bradstreet employs similes and metaphors to capture the attitude emotions felt by Bradstreet and how it conflicts with the puritan society that frowns upon her appreciation of her talents and role as a poet. The first two lines establish the extended metaphor of parental relationship through the word choice of “offspring” and “birth. “Thou ill-formed offspring of my feeble brain” reflects the complex feelings of a relationship, as well as a subtle critique of Bradstreet of her own poetry. The second line “who after birth dids’t by my side remain,” alludes to the upbringing of a child by a parent, while referring to the fact Bradstreet's poems were not published directly after their "birth." Together, the lines suggest Bradstreet did not intend her work for publishing. Lines five and six is another self-critique of Bradstreet’s own work. She declares that her work is filled with errors, not fit to be seen or judged (referring to line four “exposed to public view). The extended metaphor comparing the author and her writings to parent and a child is also present in lines seven and eight. By calling her poems “my rambling brat (in print)” Bradstreet assumes a motherly attitude towards her poems. Her attitude is a reflection of a mother’s desire to improve their children, as an author feels compelled to revise their work. As the revision or reforming process begins, the speaker can see every flaw in the work, but she cannot deny that the work is her own. An author’s work, like a child, is her own, so she is filled with affection toward it. The author or mother wants the offspring to be blemish free, and strives for that goal, but yet she would love the offspring no matter...
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