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The Author to Her Book by Anne Bradstreet


This is seen as a self-deprecatory poem in which she was embarrassed that her book was published before she could edit and revise it. Of course, it may have been written only to make people be more lenient towards her work.

"The Author to Her Book" is a poem written in couplet rhymes. And like some of her other writings, it isn't divided into stanzas. This is because it is considered one complete thought and not a variety of them. It's something like a long paragraph. This is also written in pentameter, like her other long couplet works. What do you think? Did she write this simply because she truly was embarrassed or did she write it to make it look as if she has humility?


The Author to Her Book

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 publick 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.

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