Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672) is one of the most important figures in the history of American Literature. She is considered by many to be the first American poet, and her first collection of poems,"The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America, By a Gentlewoman of Those Parts", doesn't contain any of her best known poems, it was the first book written by a woman to be published in the United States.Mrs. Bradstreet's work also serves as a document of the struggles of a Puritan wife against the hardships of New England colonial life, and in some way is a testament to plight of the women of theage. Anne's life was a constant struggle, from her difficult adaptation to the rigors of the new land, to her constant battle with illness.
It is clear to see that Anne's faith was exemplary, andso was her love for children and her husband, Governor Simon Bradstreet. Anne's poems were written mainly during the long periods of loneliness while Simon was away on political errands. Anne, whowas a well educated woman, also spent much time with her children, reading to them and teaching them as her father had taught her when she was young. While it is rather easy for us to view Puritanideology in a bad light because of it's attitude towards women and strict moral code, her indifference to material wealth, her humility and her spirituality, regardless of religion, made her into apositive, inspirational role model for any of us.
Another one of Anne's most important qualities was her strong intuition, although only subtly hinted at in her work, probably for fear of reprisal fromthe deeply religious Puritan community, one cannot help but feel her constant fascination with the human mind, and spirit, and inner guidance.
Her style is deceptively simple, yet speaks of a womanof high intelligence and ideals who was very much in love, and had unconditional faith. While it was difficult for women to air their views in the 17th Century, Anne Bradstreet did so with ease, as...
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