September 15, 2008
AP English III Period 11
To My Dear and Loving Husband by Anne Bradstreet
Anne Bradstreet is well known for being the first colonial poet to be published back around the 17th century. Her poetry consisted mostly of family, home, and religion. One of her poems that captured my mind and soul was To My Dear and Loving Husband. This poem uses such vivid imagery and emotions when explaining the love for her husband. Throughout reading this poem it is clear that her audience is people who are in love and that they are the type of person to cherish their partner’s love.
“If ever man were loved by wife, then thee.” (Line 2) The diction and the structure of this sentence are used to add more emotion to the word “loved.” She wants to get across to the reader her love for her husband. She wants them to understand that if any man’s wife had love for their husbands it could never be as deep and significant as hers for her husband. The word “ever” used in this sentence also stands out. The poet uses this word to include all times, i.e. past, present, and future tenses to show that any woman who were to love their husband, it is her husband with the most love because she adores him more than anything and especially more than any other woman’s love for their husband. Why does Mrs. Bradstreet starts off this statement with a question? “If ever man were loved…” (Line 2) She does this to show that there is only one answer to this question; her husband is the man that is loved. She asks the question so that she may answer with the answer that she sees fit and that she believes is right.
“I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold or all the riches that the East doth hold.” (Lines 5, 6) The author uses figurative language to give you an idea about how much she cherishes her husband’s love. She values his love more than gold and more than all the riches in the East. She compares his love to objects that most Americans consider to be rare treasures. She really believes that his love is the rare treasure. She also uses figurative language to clarify how much she appreciates and take pleasures in her husband’s love. The poet uses diction when she says “I prize.” She uses the word prize to show how much she takes pride in and is grateful for his love. She wants the reader to understand that a love like his is a rare treasure and it is something to be thankful for.
“Then while we live, in love let’s so preserve that when we live no more, we may live forever.” (Lines 11, 12) The poet uses this sentence to bring her poem to a close. She wants to end the poem by saying that even when they die, their love will live on. She wants to preserve the love they share so that when they die their love still exists and they are still connected to each other through it. By saying that she wants their love to live on, the author wants the reader to understand that she cherishes the love her and her husband share. The way she structures the sentence puts emphasizes on how she the love to live on. “…In love let’s so preserve that when we live no more, we may live forever.” I like the way she constructs the last half of this sentence to get across to the reader that even when they die, their love will live on. Almost as though she is saying that is how powerful their love is.
Ann Bradstreet uses pathos to get across to her reader the power behind the love her and her spouse shared. She plays on the reader’s emotions so that they may identify with her opinion on love and understand how a husband’s love is so potent and gratifying. The word “love” strikes me as important because she uses it repeatedly throughout her poem. Every time in describing the emotions she felt for her husband she used the word “love.” Love is a strong emotion that two people feel for each other and is a word used to describe how much someone means to you. This word also strikes me as important because it is a word with meaning that is not used to describe every emotion of the heart. When writing this poem you could tell that Mrs. Bradstreet’s husband means a lot to her. Her tone is one of adoration. She really adored her husband and you were able to see that in lines 5 and 6.