Part I: Short Answer
1. Anne Bradstreet uses birds as a metaphor for her children. She goes on to say, “Four Cocks were there, and Hens the rest.” This means that four were boys and the others were girls. She also says, “Till at the last they felt their wing, Mounted the Trees and learned to sing.” This meant that the children eventually grew up and went on to conquer the challenge of adult hood.
2. The destinies of the eight children were: (1) The first one left to see the world. (2) The second one found a husband and left home with him. (3) The third one also found a mate and lives where the Aurora first appears (maybe a beach or some type of coast). (4) The fourth one went off to “The Academy”. (5) The fifth is spending some time away from his mother trying to find his independence. (6, 7, and 8) The last three are still with their mother.
3. The tone is somewhat sad because she misses her first five children. She says, “If birds could weep, then would my tears…” showing that she has a sense of sorrow towards her children leaving. She goes on to say, “Farewell, my birds, farewell, adieu, I happy am, if well with you.” This line shows that even through her pain, she is slowly learning to let go.
4. She wishes that they tell their children about how much they love her.
5. Bradstreet states, “And 'fore she once would let you fly, She shew'd you joy and misery, Taught what was good, and what was ill, What would save life, and what would kill. Thus gone, amongst you I may live, And dead, yet speak and counsel give. Farewell, my birds, farewell, adieu, I happy am, if well with you.” She basically said that before they left home there was “joy and misery” and they were taught right from wrong. She also said that they were taught how to live and what to do to avoid death. Lastly, she says that if they are happy, then she is happy as well.
Part II: Creative Writing
The Extra Weight
Hester Prynne is a lion,
Majestic, with her coat as golden as the gates in Heaven
But because of the extra weight of the Scarlet Letter,
She has been made lame.
Her reputation as one of the beautiful in all the pride,
Has been tarnished because of the Extra Weight.
When brought on trial before the King Leo,
All of the Pride roared and spat their rudeness,
All in hopes to bring her down.
The King began to explain her punishment,
“Even though your mate’s whereabouts are unknown,
That’s no excuse to commit a heavy sin.
The usual punishment would be death,
But because I know this not be of your character,
I have something instead in mind.
For the sake of your soon-to-be cub Pearl,
I sentence you to Extra Weight.
Carry this ‘A’ upon your breast,
For everyone to know the sins you have committed.”
For now the Majestic lion has carried the weight,
and the weight has become as light as a feather.
And though everyone has forgotten her sins,
The weight of the ‘A’ will always be remembered.