Anne Bradstreet | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 28 pages of analysis & critique of Anne Bradstreet.
This section contains 8,103 words
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Buy the Critical Essay by Patricia Caldwell

SOURCE: "Why Our First Poet Was a Woman: Bradstreet and the Birth of an American Poetic Voice," in Prospects: An Annual of American Cultural Studies, Vol. 13, 1988, pp. 1–35.

In the following excerpt, Caldwell discusses Bradstreet's struggle with traditional male images symbolizing poetic creation, and concludes that Bradstreet became the founder of American poetry precisely because of her marginal position.

It takes a worried man—or woman—to sing a worried song, and it is not surprising that Bradstreet's earliest poetry is more worried, in a more obviously "feminine" way, than anything she wrote later. Self-consciously erudite, duly apologetic, and above all, written "to please [her] wintry father," these "public" poems are marked by frequent, nervous recurrences to two conventions that Bradstreet certainly would have encountered in her wide reading. One is the well-known modesty topos, a long-established posture of authorial self-effacement and disparagement. Critics have differed about the degree...

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This section contains 8,103 words
(approx. 28 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Patricia Caldwell
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Critical Essay by Patricia Caldwell from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.