To my dear and loving husband

Report
“TO MY DEAR AND
LOVING HUSBAND”
By Anne Bradstreet
What do you value most?
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Puritan family, 1563
Puritans valued
religious faith, work,
and family above all
things, especially
private emotions
Family outweighed
material possessions
Anne Bradstreet
1612-1672
Born Anne Dudley in 1612
 Arrived with her husband in the Massachusetts Bay
Colony in 1630 when she was only eighteen
 Armed with convictions of her Puritan upbringing, she
left behind her hometown of Northampton, England to
start afresh in America
 It was not an easy life for Bradstreet,
who raised eight children and faced
many hardships
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Anne Bradstreet
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Anne wrote for herself, not for publication
In 1650, her brother-in-law, John Woodbridge,
arranged for the publication in England of a
collection of her scholarly poems, The Tenth Muse
Lately Sprung Up in America, By a Gentlewoman of
Those Parts
Generally considered to be the first collection of original
poetry written in colonial America
 The book examined the rights of women to express
themselves

Anne Bradstreet
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Bradstreet’s later poems, such as “To My Dear and
Loving Husband,” are more personal, expressing her
feelings about the joys and difficulties of everyday
Puritan life.
In one she wrote about her thoughts before giving birth.
 In another, she wrote about the death of a grandchild.
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Bradstreet’s poetry reflects the Puritan’s knowledge
of the stories and language of the Bible, as well as
their concern for the relationship between earthly and
heavenly life.
Her work also exhibits some of the characteristics of
the French and English poetry of her day.
How does this picture represent Bradstreet as a
poet and Puritan housewife?
Vocabulary
quench: v. satisfy a thirst
 recompense: n. Repayment; something
given or done in return for something else
 manifold: adv. In many ways
 persevere: v. persist; be steadfast in
purpose
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Literary Analysis: Puritan Plain Style
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Writing style reflects the plain style of their lives –
spare, simple, straightforward
The Puritan Plain Style is characterized by short
words, direct statements, and references to ordinary,
everyday objects and experiences
Puritans believed that poetry should serve God by
clearly expressing only useful or religious ideas
Poetry appealing to the senses or emotions was
viewed as dangerous.
Literary Analysis: Puritan Plain Style

Archaic language: language that was popular is no
longer
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Ex: thee = you
Syntax: arrangement of words in the sentence
Inversion: the structure of the sentences was often
flipped—subject came after the verb
Ex: From far away came the sound of thunder (inverted)
 The sound of thunder came from far away (normal)

Reading Strategy: Paraphrasing
Although the poem captures the simplicity of
Puritan life, it is not necessarily simple to
understand
 To help you better absorb the meaning of the
poem, take time to paraphrase, or restate in
your own words, the ideas expressed by the
poet
 Because it helps to clarify meaning,
paraphrasing will allow you to make accurate
statements about the poet’s ideas

Let’s Break it Down! Paraphrase
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How would you paraphrase the first two lines?
We form the ideal couple, acting as if we were one
person; you are the most beloved of husbands
How would you paraphrase the next two lines?
If ever there was a woman who is happy with her
husband, its me. Compare my love to any other
woman’s love for her husband, if you can.
Reading Strategy: Paraphrasing

Use a graphic
organizer
“My love is such that
rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from
thee, give recompense”
My thirst for you couldn’t
be satisfied with a whole
river
Only love from you can
be repayment
Reading of the poem…twice
Inversion: Deals with syntax
If ever two were one, than surely we.
If ever man were lov’d by wife, then thee;
How would you invert these two lines to make them more
literal?
If ever two people were one person, then she and her
husband surely are. If ever any man has been loved by
his wife, he (her husband) has been.
Figurative Language
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Iambic pentameter: rhythmic meter
Anaphora: repetition of the first part of a sentence
Couplet: two rhymed lines
Paradox: a statement that contradicts itself but might
be true
Lyrical poem: poem that expresses personal feelings
Metaphor: comparison
Anapest: metrical foot
Slant Rhyme: almost rhymes but not quite
Iambic Pentameter
an “iamb” is an unaccented syllable followed by an
accented one. “Penta” means “five,” and “meter”
refers to a regular rhythmic pattern. So “iambic
pentameter” is a kind of rhythmic pattern that consist
of five iambs per line. It’s the most common rhythm in
English poetry and sounds like five heartbeats:
ba-DUM, ba-DUM, ba-DUM, ba-DUM, ba-DUM.
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We can scan line 4 in the following way:
Com-pare with me ye wo-men if you can.
da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM
Take a look at line 10:
The hea-vens re-ward thee man-i-fold I pray.
There is an extra unstressed syllable, so 11.
When a foot has two unstressed syllables followed by a
stressed one, we call it an anapest.
Rhyme Scheme
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The scheme for this poem is as follows:
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AABBCCDDEEFF.
We call these rhyming couplets, because the lines come in
rhyming pairs.
What about lines 7-8?
The "-en" sounds of "quench" and "recompense" rhyme, but
"ch" and "se" sounds are hardly the same. When two words
sorta-kinda rhyme like this, we call it slant rhyme.
Why do you think Bradstreet uses it here?
Look at lines 11-12…Persever and ever: check out the
footnote!
“To My Dear and Loving Husband”: What
does it all mean?


Which lines from “To My Dear and Loving
Husband” compare love to the ownership of
physical wealth and property?
“I prize thy love more than whole mines of
gold
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.”
Images/symbols
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Find examples of:
Money and payment/material wealth
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Lines 5-6: symbolizes exotic, wealthy (personification)
Line 8: metaphor comparing love to a transaction
Line 9: transaction should even out in the end
Line 10: use of the word reward
What does the word “ought” in line 8
communicate?
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Either “anything” or “expression of duty.”
If it’s “anything” she’s saying nothing but his
love can repay her for her love.
If it’s “expression of duty” she’s saying that her
husband should express his duty to his wife
through his love for her, which is the only
repayment she wants.
It shows that they value love and duty over material goods
Common Experiences
Line 7: My love is such that rivers cannot quench
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What common experience does the poet refer to in
this line?
Let’s start to wrap up
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What is the metaphysical argument?
 Poet

vs. lover
What are the themes?
 Physical
death
 Religion
 Physical
love
How about those first line and last two
lines?
If ever two were one, then surely we
How can two people be one person?
Then while we live, in love let’s so persevere,
That when we live no more, we may live ever.
How can you live no more but live forever?

What aspect of the speaker is more important in
this poem—the private or the public self?
“To My Dear and Loving Husband”:
Reading of the Poem

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