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The Author To Her Book
Transcript of The Author To Her Book
By: Anne Bradstreet
What Was Said?
An author speaks to her book, explaining why she sent him into the world even though she dislikes it
The speaker is Anne herself and not the unnamed author; her audience is her critics
The poem is meant as both an explanation for her (supposed) poorly written story and as an apology.
How Was It Said?
It has an AABBCC rhyme scheme
Iambic in meter
The author uses college level diction ex. “rambling”, “vulgars”, and “trudge”
The tone is cynical and diffident
She expects all to judge her work and believes that her poems are riddled with irreparable problems, “and rubbing off a spot still made a flaw.”
The author used iambic pentameter and advanced diction to convince the reader she is a learned author and allusions to motherhood to convince the audience of her embarrassment
She uses connotation when speaking about her work
Her novel is not actually her child she did not dress it in rags
Used Lit Devices
Allusion: allusions to motherhood,Apostrophe: “If for thy father asked, say thou hadst none” speaking to her book, Couplet Two: “And for thy mother, she alas is poor, which caused her thus to send thee out of door.”, Iambic pentameter: “Who after birth didst by my side remain,
till snatched from thence by friends, less wise than true,”,Metaphor: “My rambling brat” brat is metaphor for her book, Personification: “My rambling brat (in print) should mother call”, Rhyme: “mind...rhyme”
Why Was It Said?
No creation is perfect in the eyes of its creator
Proof: “Till snatched from thence by friends, less wise than true, who thee abroad, exposed to public view.” Her friends think her novel is professional enough to publish but she believes it is subpar.
Reason For Writing
Proof: “And for thy mother, she alas is poor, which caused her thus to send thee out of door.” Explain why she published what she considered to be a poorly written book.
This text reminds modern teenagers that everyone is their own worst critic
Need To Know
A reader must understand that Anne is considered one of the best poets to get the full impact
The only literary allusion is about her own poems in a book of poems which the story is about
Anne was born in Elizabethan England which encouraged women learning
Fond of Vergil, Plutarch, Livy, Pliny, Suetonius, Homer, Hesiod, Ovid, Seneca, Thucydides, Spenser, Sidney, Milton, Raleigh, and Hobbes
Despite having nine children she found a time to write
Her Puritan religion had a large impact upon her poems
Fire for lust, white for innocence, and a dove for peace. Metaphors are one of the most powerful literary devices with the ability to conjure completely different meanings than the literal definitions. Anne Bradstreet uses this device to its full extent in “The Author To Her Book” linking her book to an unruly child as to show the audience the true meaning of her poem: that she has conflicting emotions about her poetry. As anyone with a child can attest: children are not always the prettiest, nor the most well behaved, or the cleanest, and can many times cause tremendous embarrassment. In Anne Bradstreet’s poem she appeals to this knowledge by christening her book as her, “rambling brat (in print)”(Bradstreet). She does this to emphasis her feelings about her novel; it’s an embarrassment to her that she had originally, “cast thee by as one unfit for light”(Bradstreet). However, by using a child as a metaphor she also reveals that, though she find her story mortifying, she also still feels tenderness towards it and wishes that she could mend its faults. Just as a parent with an estranged child, she tries to ignore it, “yet being mine own, at length affection would thy blemishes amend, if so I could” (Bradstreet). Anne, with use of a metaphor, has created a poem with complex meaning. The reader is left with the understanding that Anne both despises and yet still feels fondness for her book, thus using metaphor Anne showed the poems true meaning, she has conflicting emotions about her novel.
The Author to Her Book
Anne Bradstreet, 1612 - 1672
Thou ill-formed 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, exposed to public 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,
The visage was so irksome in my sight;
Yet being mine own, at length affection would
Thy blemishes amend, if so I could.
I washed thy face, but more defects I saw,
And rubbing off a spot still made a flaw.
I stretched 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 homespun cloth i’ th’ house I find.
In this array ‘mongst vulgars may’st thou roam.
In critic’s hands beware thou dost not come,
And take thy way where yet thou art not known;
If for thy father asked, say thou hadst none;
And for thy mother, she alas is poor,
Which caused her thus to send thee out of door.
Bradstreet, Anne. "The Author to Her Book." Poets.org. Academy of American Poets, n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.