Anne Bradstreet's Prolougue and Contemplation

Good Essays
Topics: Poetry
Ismanuel
Prof. Lamore
INGL 3351 Sec. 060
8 September 2014
Anne Bradstreet father, Thomas Dudley, took great importance in seeing that she received superior education to that of most women as he would befit it. As such, one can infer that Anne Bradstreet had some type of grudge to the male dominant society she grew on. Her writing maintains hidden meaning in which casual readers would see the surface intentions of her poems and not offend any male readers. However, inside her humble lyrics one can objectify flowing amounts of sarcasm, irony and negative intensity towards male to female prejudice. This humble yet sarcastic tone can be seen in the poem as an indirect attack pointed towards the male world. These ironic intentions can be seen in the first stanza of Anne Bradstreet’s’ “The Prologue” where she states that her work is simple and that she leaves historical recordings to others who have more skill, “To sing of wars, of captains, and of kings / Of cities founded, commonwealths begun / For my mean pen are to superior things. . .” (1-3). Nevertheless, Madam Bradstreet would compare her supposed unrefined style as a poet with artist like Guillaume Bartas which she enjoyed reading as described in the second stanza of “The Prologue”:
But when my wond’ring eyes and envious heart
Great Bartas sugared lines do but read o’er,
Fool I do grudge the Muses did not part
‘Twixt him and me that over fluent store;
A bartas can do what a Bartas will
But simple I according to my skill.” (7-12)
In the first ten stanzas of “Contemplations” Anne Bradstreet shows her mastery of poetic language and stylistic devices. Mrs. Bradstreet praises the glory of God’s work; being nature, life and the place that man occupies. In the fourth stanza of Mrs. Bradstreet’s “Contemplation” one can notice such praise of the elements of the natural world, “Then higher on the glistening Sun I gazed, / Whose beams was shaded by the leafy tree; / The more I looked, the more I grew amazed,



Cited: Bradstreet, Anne. “Contemplation” The Norton Anthology: American Literature shorter 7th edition. Ed. Julia Reidhead. New York: W.W Norton & Company, Inc., 2008. 99-106. Print. _ _ _. “The Prologue.” The Norton Anthology: American Literature shorter 7th edition. Ed. Julia Reidhead. New York: W.W Norton & Company, Inc., 2008. 98-99. Print.

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