"The daughter of one colonial governor and the wife of another, Anne Dudley Bradstreet (1612–72) was also a skilled and accomplished writer, whose collection of poetry, The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America, was the first volume of original verse written in the colonies. In addition to being America's first poet, she was also, in great likelihood, the first professional woman poet in the English language. This collection of poetry, selected from a number of her works, discloses the thoughts of a remarkably sensitive and well-educated woman. Exhibiting great range and beauty, the poems encompass everything from lyric verses addressed to her husband and children and a formal elegy in honor of Queen Elizabeth I to loving epitaphs honoring her deceased mother, father, and grandchildren.
Grouped according to category (love, home life, religious meditations, dialogues, and lamentations), the poems not only exhibit Anne Bradstreet’s wide learning but also reveal the influence of Montaigne, Homer, Raleigh, Sidney, Spenser, and other poets. Sure to be welcomed by students and teachers, this collection is also important for the light it sheds on the cares, concerns, and roles of colonial women.
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