In the women who read her poetry

In the women who read her poetry

In “The Author to Her Book,” Bradstreet is inundated in indecision and internal struggles over the virtues and shortfalls of her abilities and the book that she produced. As human beings we associate and sympathize with each other through similar experiences. It is difficult to sympathize with someone when you don’t know where they are coming from and don’t know what they are dealing with. Similar experiences and common bonds are what allow us to extend our sincere appreciation and understanding for another human being’s situation.

In this poem an elaborate struggle between pride and shame manifests itself through an extended metaphor in which she equates her book to her own child.”The Author to Her Book” expresses some of the emotions Bradstreet felt when her most intimate thoughts were made know to the world with the publishing of her book. In addition she also relate some of the story as to how her work came to be published.

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The average person could not relate to the distress Bradstreet feels in this situation. The collection of poetry that she had written expressed her feelings in a way that most women during that time didn’t have the skill to do. Many people would wonder why Bradstreet the publishing of her work would be so distressful when they had brought Bradstreet much personal fame and brought many people enjoyable reading. Therefore, She could not simply write a clear-cut poem to tell how she feels about her stolen thoughts. Only another writer would be able sympathize with Bradstreet in this matter if she didn’t draw some basis for comparison. In order for her readers to be able to feel her pain and joy she had to use a situation in which her readers could comprehend the many emotions she experienced.

Many of the women who read her poetry were either already mothers or would one day be mothers. This common bond opened a door for understanding. By comparing her book to a child, she is able to gain the compassion of her readers and help them appreciate the emotions she is feeling.In line one she states how she feels about her creation, which she calls an “ill-formed offspring” (line 1) and she gives the book human characteristics throughout the poem to enhance the effect of the conceit. She constantly speaks directly to her work as if it were her own child. Then in line 23 Bradstreet calls herself the “mother” of this work.

Lines two through five move past depicting her as the mother and express how she feels embarrassed that her works were published before she was ready to share them with the world and without her consent. She says that the “child” had been by her side until “snatched from thence by friends, less wise than true” (line 3). Basically she is saying a trusted person “snatched” her work from her without permission to take them to England to be printed. Had it not been for her brother-in-law taking her work back to England and getting them printed they may have never been known. The intimacy and feeling she shares with her work is like that of a mother and child and that bond was infringed upon when her work was “exposed to public view” (line 4).

The intrusion of her brother-in-law getting her work printed is the cause of feeling that follow. Ironically the next thing she talks is the shame she has been thrust upon her by not being able to perfect the work before it was published. This is illustrated in line five where she writes, “Made thee in rags,” as to say her work is like a child dressed in rags. In lines six through nine Bradstreet associates the embarrassment she feels due to her unperfected work to the embarrassment a parent feels due to an irritable child. She feels ashamed that the “errors were not lessened” (line 6) before the work was printed and refers to it as a “rambling brat” who is “one unfit for light” (line 8-9) because her “child” was taken from her before she had time to prepare it to go out into the world. She is portraying the same sense of shame a mother would feel if her child had misbehaved. She is also showing how she felt as a writer whose work had been published before she was ready or in the mindset of the metaphor of the poem the feeling a mother would have if her child were taken from her before she had time to teach the child how to behave.

The shame she felt may not have been solely based on the fact she made some mistakes in her writing. A mother feels the most shame and embarrassment, not when a child misbehaves, but when her child misbehaves in public where everyone can see. This reflects badly on the mother. It makes her look as if she does not discipline or try to correct her child.

In relation to the metaphor of the poem Bradstreet does not feel shame because she made mistake but because the world now sees her mistakes as she stated in line 6 “all may judge” (line 6). Lines 10 through 14 continue to show Bradstreet’s desire to prefect her work and correct any errors. “I was thy face, but more defects I saw” (Line 12) However, Bradstreet showed that she loved her work unconditionally, just as a mother loves her child. Children are what their parents make them an even though they try correct every aspect of their child that is not perfect, it just isn’t possible Nothing they can do will make a perfect child, but the unconditional love of a mother overlooks any shortcomings. In the same way, Bradstreet wishes she could perfect her work but she realizes that correcting would simply reveal another flaw.

“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 (line 13-16). Upon realizing that trying to correct these errors would only create others, Bradstreet can take pride in knowing that her work is as good as it can be. The pride a mother feels for her child is something that imperfections and shortcoming can not take away, she is proud of that child for being who and what it is and that is how Bradstreet feels about her work. All mothers think about how the world will think about and treat their child. Thus Bradstreet wonders how here work will be received. Mothers know how cruel the world can be and they know that no one will every love their child as they do. Bradstreet knows the same about her work.

It will be ” mongst vulgars” and “in critic’s hands” (line 19-20) In the end, Bradstreet leaves her child with the thought, be known for your own value. In “The Author to Her Book,” Bradstreet uses an extended metaphor to emphasize her dissatisfaction with the publishing of her poems, but tells how she cannot turn her back on her own creation. Thus, Bradstreet conveys the embarrassment she feels due to her imperfect work. The main idea shows throughout the poem as Bradstreet struggles with the idea of her work being published when not fully perfected.

“The Author to Her Book” also reveals a deeper feeling that no words really can describe which we have felt at one time. Having one’s self totally exposed to the world for gaze upon and offer their thoughts. As I learned more about this poem I began to feel the struggle Bradstreet was going through. I too have had work published that I was not ready for anyone to read. But was with Bradstreet I stood behind my work even though it may not have been perfect and I think every writer could relate to here situation. Most people could not so the metaphor she used out in perspective for those who are not writers.

In a small sense this poem lets the reader gaze into Bradstreet’s nature and our own. This poem along with all the other she wrote was a way for her to express her emotions into words, in this case about something very specific. As a columnist I can appreciate what she is doing and I understand the feeling she was trying to convey about the judgment she was sure to receive from the publishing of here work. Through her use of this extended metaphor, Bradstreet weaves a brilliantly intricate web of parallels: Parent and author, child and book, creator to creation. These parallels allow the reader to emotionally relate and sympathize with Bradstreet. She succeeds in conveys here feeling and giving the reader a means of association with what she is feeling.

She used the pain and pleasure of creating and nurturing human life to show people who were not writer the pains and the pleasures of have your work exposed to the world

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