Anne Bradstreet: Poems

Expression through Metaphor in “The Author to Her Book” 11th Grade

Anne Bradstreet’s “The Author to Her Book” reflects on an author’s feelings to her book after it is published and critiqued as an unfinished product. The poem uses the controlling metaphor of an author and her book to the relationship of a loving mother and her child to express the author’s complex attitude that shifts throughout the course of the work. Diction, apostrophe, and the first-person perspective are incorporated alongside the controlling metaphor to convey the speaker’s true emotions.

The controlling metaphor in the part of the poem that exposes the flaws of the author’s book reflects the conflicted tone of the author, introducing the basis of her feelings toward her work. The author addresses her book as her “ill-formed offspring” (1), which presents its imperfections and suggests the author’s role as a motherly figure to her book. Referring to her book as her “rambling brat” (8), the author shares one of its key flaws—irrelevant wordiness—and diction suggests that the author lacked control of the book’s premature publication. Through multiple instances of apostrophe, which is evident in examples such as “Made thee in rags” (5) and “at they return” (7), the author specifically addresses her book as oppose to just...

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