Anne Bradstreet

(1612 – 16 September 1672 / Northampton, England)

Author To Her Book, The - Poem by Anne Bradstreet

Thou ill-form'd offspring of my feeble brain,
Who after birth did'st by my side remain,
Till snatcht from thence by friends, less wise than true,
Who thee abroad expos'd to public view,
Made thee in rags, halting to th' press to trudge,
Where errors were not lessened (all may judge).
At thy return my blushing was not small,
My rambling brat (in print) should mother call.
I cast thee by as one unfit for light,
Thy Visage was so irksome in my sight,
Yet being mine own, at length affection would
Thy blemishes amend, if so I could.
I wash'd thy face, but more defects I saw,
And rubbing off a spot, still made a flaw.
I stretcht thy joints to make thee even feet,
Yet still thou run'st more hobbling than is meet.
In better dress to trim thee was my mind,
But nought save home-spun Cloth, i' th' house I find.
In this array, 'mongst Vulgars mayst thou roam.
In Critics' hands, beware thou dost not come,
And take thy way where yet thou art not known.
If for thy Father askt, say, thou hadst none;
And for thy Mother, she alas is poor,
Which caus'd her thus to send thee out of door.

Comments about Author To Her Book, The by Anne Bradstreet

  • Edward Kofi Louis (6/8/2017 1:30:00 PM)

    By my side! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Glen Kappy (6/8/2017 7:42:00 AM)

    interesting extended metaphor.

    feeble brain? obviously not. but i suppose we can excuse this as we can all hyperbole and that this is long before women's liberation.

    i wonder which poets anne considered good or great considering her estimation of her own work.


    1 person liked.
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  • Rajesh Thankappan (6/8/2017 7:05:00 AM)

    An interesting poem on writers travails. (Report)Reply

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  • Bernard F. Asuncion (6/8/2017 3:20:00 AM)

    In better dress...... thanks for posting...... (Report)Reply

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  • Susan Williams (6/8/2017 1:19:00 AM)

    I enjoyed this a year ago and I still enjoy it today. Our novels and our poems are truly our children (Report)Reply

    10 person liked.
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  • Susan Williams (2/23/2016 2:47:00 PM)

    Loved it! We go through this very thing with the poems we write, the short stories we send off, the terror of sending off a novel. Love the comparison to a child- that lent humor as well as truth to this. (Report)Reply

    27 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (6/10/2010 11:41:00 AM)

    Here is the true first American poet. (Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
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Read poems about / on: mother, birth, father, house, home, light, friend

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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