A Woman Ahead of Her Time

Sometimes we think we have to belong to an established family to make a real difference in the world. Some women feel they need a PHD to prove they are good enough. I have a story here of a woman, Anne Bradstreet who came to America in 1630 aboard the first Puritan ship to arrive here in the colonies. Anne was a married woman who had begun writing early in her life despite the fact that she had eight children.

Being a published woman in the 1600’s Puritan community was not something which made her popular with some others in the community. Her literary endeavors were off-putting to some of her peers. They questioned her place and the propriety of a woman writing her thoughts and observations.

Anne wrote about the hardships of women in the New World, as well as the difficulties in her own life looking for recognition and acceptance in the American colonies at that time. I think many were similar to what we have faced since then as American women. She also wrote many mystical poems about her own religious beliefs.

Anne’s poetry was published in 1650, when her book “The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up” went into print. She also wrote about the raising of her eight children and subjects of import at the time. Many of her poems are gentle, such as her poem to her husband:

“If ever two were one, then surely we,
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee.
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole Mines of gold
Or all of the riches that the East doth hold/
My love is such that Rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee give recompense.”

Anne was influenced by the work of Edmund Spencer and Philip Sidney. One of her descendants was Oliver Wendell Holmes. She is considered America’s first English-language poet.

4 thoughts on “A Woman Ahead of Her Time

  1. irishsignora says:

    Thank you for pouring a drop of beauty into my morning coffee! –Kelly

  2. mountainmae says:

    Lovely poem and introduction to a person unknown to me.

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