The Author to Her Book

By Anne Bradstreet 1612–1672 Anne Bradstreet
Thou ill-form’d offspring of my feeble brain,
Who after birth didst by my side remain,
Till snatched from thence by friends, less wise than true,
Who thee abroad, expos’d to publick view,
Made thee in raggs, halting to th’ press to trudge,
Where errors were not lessened (all may judg).
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 stretched thy joynts to make thee even feet,
Yet still thou run’st more hobling then 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 Criticks 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.

Source: The Complete Works of Anne Bradstreet (1981)

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Poet Anne Bradstreet 1612–1672

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books, Social Commentaries, Living, Disappointment & Failure, Poetry & Poets, Humor & Satire

Poetic Terms Couplet

 Anne  Bradstreet

Biography

Anne Bradstreet was the first woman to be recognized as an accomplished New World Poet. Her volume of poetry The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America ... received considerable favorable attention when it was first published in London in 1650. Eight years after it appeared it was listed by William London in his Catalogue of the Most Vendible Books in England, and George III is reported to have had the volume in his library. . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books, Social Commentaries, Living, Disappointment & Failure, Poetry & Poets, Humor & Satire

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Poetic Terms Couplet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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