The Author to Her Book

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Anne Bradstreet’s poem, The Author to her Book, metaphorically describes a mother’s feelings towards her book being published without permission. The lines 10 and 20 indicate a shift of a gradual change in tone, from critical and embarrassed to acceptance. The baby described in the poem figuratively represents her book and her life. Primarily, the imagery contributes to the complex attitude of the speaker due to the descriptions of her flaws and errors that she has had in her life (book) that has already been published without her permission. Bradstreet’s phrases such as “my feeble brain,” and “…thy return my blushing was not small,” indicates her being very critical on herself. She is embarrassed by the fact that her friends published her book without her authority, despite their good intentions. At line 9, she says, “unfit for light,” meaning that her book doesn’t deserve the attention compared to the other great authors out there. Additionally, the mother tried to rub off a “spot” which still created a flaw, and even tried to stretch the baby’s joints to make them even. The speaker tried everything she can to go back in time and prevent her friends from publishing the book. Furthermore, the mother describes her baby, metaphorically her book, as “blemishes” and “handicapped.” Blemishes and handicaps are similar by the fact that they are permanent “defects” of the body. No matter how much one can wish for it to disappear, it will always stay the same. Given that she tried all that she can do, she realized that she has to accept that her book has been shown to the public already. She realized that no matter what, there will always be imperfections in everything, especially the ones that she sees in herself. By the end of the poem, the speaker isn’t embarrassed anymore because she can’t do anything to change what has happened. Her flaws are always going to be living with her no matter what. All of the imagery portrayed in the poem represents her own critical...
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