The Author to her Book By Anne Bradstreet

In your own words, the interpretation, theme, style and tone of the poem. 1 page. May be in any format.
The Author to her Book By Anne Bradstreet
Thou ill-form’d offspring of my feeble brain,
Who after birth did’st by my side remain,
Till snatcht from thence by friends, less wise than true
Who thee abroad, expos’d to publick view;
Made thee in rags, halting to th’ press to trudge,
Where errors were not lessened (all may judge)
At thy return my blushing was not small,
My rambling brat (in print) should mother call,
I cast thee by as one unfit for light,
Thy visage was so irksome in my sight;
Yet being mine own, at length affection would
Thy blemishes amend, if so I could:
I wash’d thy face, but more defects I saw,
And rubbing off a spot, still made a flaw.
I stretcht thy joints to make thee even feet,
Yet still thou run’st more hobbling than is meet;
In better dress to trim thee was my mind,
But nought save home-spun cloth, i’ th’ house I find.
In this array, ‘mongst vulgars mayst thou roam
In critics hands, beware thou dost not come;
And take thy way where yet thou art not known,
If for thy father askt, say, thou hadst none:
And for thy mother, she alas is poor,
Which caus’d her thus to send thee out of door.

“The Author to her Book”: She wrote this poem after her brother-in-law took a manuscript of her poems (she had shared them with family and friends) to England and had it published. Most authors want the opportunity to polish their early work before it is published, and surely she is no exception. Anne Bradstreet’s literature became well know only because her family published her works under a male name. This was done because writing poetry was a serious offense to the puritans since poetry was considered creative and the only creating that was done was by God. Anne had little choice, however— as a woman poet, it was important for her to downplay her ambitions as an author. Otherwise, she would have faced criticism for being “unwomanly.

Offspring: Note that she considers her poetry to be her child, a metaphor which runs throughout the poem which perhaps only a fond mother would have used. Certainly no male writer at the time would have developed such a metaphor.

Visage: face, appearance. This extended metaphor of washing the face of her poems is a marvelous example of the tedious process of revision



The Author to her Book By Anne Bradstreet