In silent night when rest I took,
For sorry near I did not look,
U waken’d was with thundering noise
And piteous shrieks of dreadfull voice.
That fearful sound of “Fire! And “Fire!”
Let no man know is my Desire.
This excerpt is from “Upon the Burning of Our House” (1666) by America's number one Puritan poet, Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672). This year I took a course in Puritain poetry from HarvardX. I took all their classes. More on that later. One thing I learned was that Puritan poets weren't only writing about their Puritan hangups. They weren't even all Puritan. But they all had a pretty tough time of it there in New England with disease, bad weather, angry indigenous Americans and those creepy, scary woods everywhere. Imagine showing a Puritan the Blair Witch movies. They would have lost their minds. Anyway, Bradstreet was the wife and daughter of two governors of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and her poems, the card says, were “steeped in ‘the Puritan darkness." She wrote 400 pages of poetry, (you go, girl!), and not all of them were “starkly religious.” She is "considered the first poet of consequence in the American colonies.” Her poems show a “suppressed emotional life" and, sadly, only one of her books has survived (The Tenth Muse, Lately Sprung Up in America), the one that was "published in London in 1650 and posthumously in Boston in 1678."
Week two stats:
1 white French male
1 white female American colonialist
1 1800s poet
1 1600s poet