A Commentary on Anne Bradstreet's Author to Her Book

837 Words4 Pages
A Commentary on Anne Bradstreet’s “The Author to Her Book” With an empathetic tone, Anne Bradstreet creates a poem in which the speaker becomes frustrated while trying to complete a literary work. “The Author to Her Book” compares a writer and her piece to a mother and her child, calling the book her “ill-formed offspring of [her] feeble brain” (1). Most likely referring to a personal experience, Bradstreet uses structure, diction, figurative language, and imagery to convey the difficulty of producing a work with which the author is pleased. The purpose of the structure in this poem is to make words and concepts pop out to the reader. The speaker uses different techniques in order to make sure the certain points are emphasized. For example, though the meter of the poem is iambic pentameter, some lines do not fit into that category as well as they should. This connects with the fact that though the speaker tries to “make thee even feet” (15), she cannot fix the meter, and even once she is done, it is still “more hobbling than is meet” (16). In other words, the poem is now worse than before. The whole poem consists of 12 heroic couplets; however, in lines 19-22 the rhyme is imperfect. The fact that the imperfect rhyme is caused by the different sounds of ‘o’, long and short, in, “roam/come” (18-19) and “known/none” (20-21), shows that the flaws of the narrator’s book are very minor. The mixture of both perfect and imperfect rhyme reveals how though the writer is a perfectionist even she has a hard time getting things completely right. Anastrophe occurs in line 13 with “but more defects I saw.” This emphasizes the “defects” of the books and shows how important these flaws are to the writer. Caesurae are also portrayed in the poem as dashes. These dashes help point out how though the narrator refers to the book as a brat; it is actually “in print” (8), meaning it is
Open Document