Justification for the Importance of Anne Bradstreet’s poem “Contemplations”
Anne Bradstreet’s poem, Contemplations, is a very important piece of Puritan poetry. Its importance is vivid in its use of the Puritan style and its handling of Puritan themes. Precisely, it uses nature in trying to advise people to come back to God despite the many problems they go through on earth: “The trees all richly clad, yet void of pride.”
We will write a custom Proposal on Importance of Anne Bradstreet’s poem “Contemplations” specifically for you
301 certified writers online
It passes a divine message to the people in the same manner Jeremiah did in the Bible: asks people to avoid sin and remain pure. The poet compares the pleasures and the beauty on earth to those in heaven. She concludes that those in heaven must be better: “If so much excellence abides below, how excellent is he that dwells on high?”
The Place of “Contemplations” in Relation to Ann Bradstreet Other Poetry
“Contemplations” occupies a special place in all Bradstreet’s poems. It demonstrates that she made a discovery that had been hidden from her for a very long time. Before writing “Contemplations”, she wrote poems about a wide range of topics.
They included expressing her love to her husband and making comparisons between Old England and her new home, New England. However, in “Contemplations”, she realizes that everything in life is useless if it does not help one enter the kingdom of God.
This is the reason she compares worldly beauty to heavenly beauty in “Contemplations” and reaches a conclusion that worldly beauty is temporal, but heavenly beauty is eternal.
Why this Poem is Different from Other Puritan Poems
This poem is different from other puritan poems because it uses Elizabethan poetry styles such as alliteration, assonance and rhyme. It uses alliterative phrases such as “stealing streak”, and its lines rhyme ABABCCC in all the stanzas.
The use of these devices is against the common Puritan practice that preferred the use of a simple and straight-forward language with the view of making the poems’ divine messages more vivid to the audience.
It also uses Greek mythology, yet Puritan poetry was known for its simplicity and the avoidance of Greek mythology and other classical analogies: “To Thetis house, where all imbrace and greet:” In this line, the poet uses the term Thetis, which she borrows from Greek mythology.
How Nature in this Poem Reflects the Puritan View
In the poem, all allusions to nature are meant to demonstrate the superiority of God over all things in nature. Bradstreet alludes to the sun’s ability to bring life on earth and cause both day and night. She also talks about the long life that plants have and the beauty of trees in spring.
However, she concludes that God is superior to all these wonders. She goes further to argue that human beings also have the ability to be better than nature if only they forget about their problems and go back to God. The use of nature in this manner correctly reflects the Puritans’ view of nature.
They always viewed nature as wonderfully created by God for the purpose of making human beings see His greatness. In addition, Puritans viewed human beings as being more advantaged compared to other things in nature.
Bradstreet demonstrates the same view when she argues that though nature seems to have longer life spans than human beings, human beings have the power to overcome death and live even longer than nature: “Here’s neither honour, wealth, nor safety; only above is found all with security.”