Anne Bradstreet was the first true American poet her poems show the inner workings of a good Puritan heart. She read widely in history, science, literature and studied the works of Guillame du Bartas this gave her the power, control, and influence to have a confident poetic voice.
Bradstreet's was known to be a free thinker and some consider her an early feminist, with her feminist views, as in the poem about Queen Elizabeth I. Her acknowledgment expressing regrets were more ironic than sincere responding to those Puritans who felt women should be silent, modest and live in private rather than the public eye. What her poetry reveals is that Puritan religion was often seen as harsh and restrictive but, could also be a source of great comfort and strength. Though her poetry at times caused creative conflicts she found hope for future promises of religion, her love of nature and the physical world, as well as the spiritual gave great pleasures in the realities of the present, especially of her family, her home and nature even though she realized that perhaps she should not, according to the Puritan perspective.
Her writings included her religious views, the world around and that of being a loving daughter, wife and mother. In the eighteenth century Cotton Mather wrote that her poems were, “grateful entertainment unto the ingenious.” In the nineteenth century they were dismissed as merely quaint and curious. Her poetry was generally ignored until they were rediscovered by feminists in the 20th century and today her writings are listed along side with Edward Taylor as part of the poetry of the seventeenth-century New England.
2. Identify three common themes seen throughout Bradstreet's poetry. It is clear to see Bradstreet's life experiences are based on observation of the world around her “culture, nature”, she focused heavily on religious themes and stressed poetry as