Another poetic device which is central to this poem is Anne Bradstreet's use of apostrophe. Apostrophe is when the narrator speaks to something that is nonliving as though it were living and could respond. In this case, the narrator of the poem is speaking to her published book (a very imperfect "child" of her brain rather than her body, a comparison she makes via metaphor), as though that book could hear and react to her. It is a sort of mild form of personification.
In addition to comparing her text to a flawed child of her own mind, Bradstreet also compares herself, via metaphor, to an imperfect mother. She says, for example, "In better dress to trim thee was my mind, / But nought save homespun cloth i’ th’ house I find." She would have liked to have been able to make her text better, literally, but she was only able to "dress it" in homely cloth, figuratively, because that is all she has access to: she identifies the homeliness and limits of her own mind as the cause of her text's flaws. The "child" is imperfect because the mind that produced it is, likewise. Then, in the final lines of the poem, she instructs her text/child, "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." In other words, the text has no father and only a mother who is lacking, and this is why, though she would like to have put something better out into the world, she was unable.
Essay on The Author to Her Book by Anne Bradstreet
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“The Author to Her Book” by Anne Bradstreet
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…show more content…
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