“The Author to Her Book” is a poem written by Anne Bradstreet that links to many authors who write either technical or poetry guides. The poem centers on Bradstreet’s book The Tenth Muse that has recently appeared in America. It is worth noting that this book was published without the author’s awareness or approval. While reading the poem, it becomes obvious that the author treats the book as her own child taken from its safe world and exposed to the outer surroundings before it is ready. As the children’s way of conduct connects to the parents’ one, the same is with the book – it reflects on her behavior. The author starts noticing many flaws in the book, and she wishes nobody sees them. She wants to hide it away, and she is afraid she will be thought of as a bad writer.
The metrical line the poem is written in is iambic pentameter. The author demonstrates how vulnerable she felt when the book was published. The chosen metrical line is, thus, used to achieve the soothing effect of rocking a baby: to ease the worries and to calm down. The author is, thus, calming herself down as she feels exposed and not safe as the book was published unfinished. Besides, she feels betrayed as her friends did not ask her permission before sending the book for publishing.
The child here is a metaphor that reflects her emotional bond and responsibility for her poetry. If someone had to provide a book critique, it would mean that the author would be criticized. The following lines are the proof: “And for thy mother, she alas is poor, / which caused her thus to send thee out of door” (Academy of American Poets. Lines 23-24). Such ideas directly refer to the theme of motherhood: the mother is still has a strong connection with her child that had to leave her before she became ready to let go. Thus, the unfinished book could make her an object of scorn by reflecting on her skillfulness. The personification of the book helps the readers to understand the love and inner suffering Bradstreet feels.
It should be stated that Bradstreet’s perfection is not a new notion. With the help of tone and imagery, the author demonstrates her dislikes and the lack of confidence in what she does: an insufficient literary piece as a consequence of the existing human defects. The selection of vocabulary and terminology in her “The Author to Her Book” demonstrates that while positioning her book as a really close part, she feels frustration when thinking about it. Her disgust is supported with such vocabulary choice as “irksome,” “errors,” “blemishes,” “defects,” “homespun,” etc. She cannot see anything redeeming in the book despite the fact that she does her best to get rid of the errors.
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