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The Author to Her Book

Uploaded by jdewitt70 on Aug 15, 2001

Writing poetry can be a deeply personal (and sometimes painful) process. If talent and luck prevails, the poet will actually produce a something that reflects the inner workings that first motivated their pen to meet paper. Through struggle and sweat a poem is born, and for better or for worse the creator is responsible for the subsequent journey that it will take throughout it’s poetic life. In it’s infancy, it might seem a miracle of creation, but like most parents the writer will work at maturing the verse and rhyme so that it can defend itself when it eventually leaves home. The world that it will one day enter is a cold and critical one, and few will understand the true meaning and depth of the poem’s soul like it’s parent does.

Anne Bradstreet beautifully demonstrates the intimate relationship that exists between an artist and her work in the poem The Author to Her Book. In the poem she directly addresses the book that was published without her consent, referring to it as her child, kidnapped and exploited in a world of criticism. By exposing the her work to the world, she feels that her own inadequacies are revealed as well, thus creating an internal struggle between pride and shame. This paper will take a detailed look at the poem line by line, and draw out the deeper meanings that Bradstreet injected in regard to the book The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America, her illegitimate brainchild.

In the first line Bradstreet refers to the book as an “ill formed offspring of [her] feeble brain.” This not only expresses her opinion of the work, but also that of her own abilities as a poet. She seems to feel no confidence, and says so upfront, as if to apologize to anyone who might have encountered her work. Although its flaws embarrass and shame her, she understands that her book is the offspring of her own "feeble brain", and the lamentable errors it displays are therefore her own.

In lines two through four she shows that her ‘child’, once safely kept close to her side, suddenly “snatched” away by friends “less wise than true,” and then “exposed to public view” before it had a chance to mature in her care. It’s in Bradstreet’s strong descriptive language that she is able to express her feelings of betrayal. Though she doesn’t outright say it, she obviously...

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Uploaded by:   jdewitt70

Date:   08/15/2001

Category:   Literature

Length:   6 pages (1,305 words)

Views:   1943

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