Anne Bradstreet: American Poet
Anne Bradstreet is seen as a true poetic writer for the seventeenth century. She exhibits a strong Puritan voice and is one of the first notable poets to write English verse in the American colonies. Bradstreet's work symbolizes both her Puritan and feminine ideals and appeals to a wide audience of readers. American Puritan culture was basically unstable, with various inchoate formations of social, political, and religious powers competing publicly. Her thoughts are usually on the reality surrounding her or images from the Bible. Bradstreet's writing is that of her personal and Puritan life. Anne Bradstreet's individualism lies in her choice of material rather than in her style.
Anne Bradstreet was born in 1612 to Thomas and Dorothy Dudley in Northampton, England. Her father and a young man named Simon Bradstreet were chosen by the Earl of Lincoln as stewards to manage the Earl's affairs. Anne, unlike many women of her time, was well educated and it is presumed that she had access to the Earl's vast library during this time. The Earl's residence was known for its romantic background and this proved true in 1628 when Anne and Simon married. She was only sixteen to his twenty-five years but they were known to have a happy marriage as evidenced in "To my Dear and Loving Husband" where Bradstreet laments, "If ever two were one, than surely we" (125). In 1630, the Dudley's and the Bradstreet's, along with other Puritans, sailed aboard the Arabella to settle the Massachusetts Bay Colony. These families journeyed to America as many Puritan settlers had before them, in the hopes of religious freedoms unattainable in England. In the colonies, Anne's husband was frequently absent. Bradstreet still found time to write her poetry while raising her 8 children and carrying on the strenuous duties of colonial life.
Though Bradstreet accepted the tenets of Puritanism, anti-Puritan texts are found in her poetry in terms of religious doubts...
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