Anne Bradstreet


Anne Bradstreet is probably buried in the Old Burying Ground, North Andover, Massachusetts, USA - although Salem also lays claim to her remains. In 2000 a memorial grave marker was erected to commemorate her life.

Memorial for Anne Bradstreet (Photo Walter Skold)

Anne was born in Northampton in England and emigrated with her father Thomas Dudley and her husband Simon Bradstreet in 1630 aboard the Arabella. On arriving in America she lived at Charlestown, Boston, Cambridge and Ipswich before finally settling at North Andover. Despite poor health and the hardships of colonial life she had eight children.

Anne Bradstreet

Her collection of poems The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung up in America was first published in London in 1650 and she became well known in both the Old and the New World. Her work was heavily influenced by the French poet Guillame de Salluste Du Bartes who also influenced John Milton. She was part of the Puritan tradition - along with fellow emigrant poets such as Edward Taylor and Michael Wigglesworth. She was also the first American woman to have a book published.

In 1965 the poet John Berryman wrote a long biographical tribute to her entitled Homage to Mistress Bradstreet.

Bradstreet is best remembered today for her shorter poems rather than her long historical and philosophical works. The following poem is number eighteen from her Contemplations series:

When I behold the heavens in their prime,
And then the earth (though old) stil clad in green,
The stones and trees, insensible of time,
Nor age nor wrinkle on their front are seen;
If winter come, and greeness then do fade,
A Spring returns, and they more youthfull made;
But Man grows old, lies down, remains where once he's laid.





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