Lesson 1 Love: Reading Poetry

Pre-reading question:

1) What is her meter? While you read, look for variations in rhythm and in syntax. What could these changes mean?
2) See how each of the first three lines begins with "If". This is a good example of anaphora. What is the effect of this repetition? Do you think it undermine the certainty that other lines seem to express?
3) To whom is this poem addressed? If just her husband, why does she address "ye women" here? Is she speaking to both? Or is this a private poem, probably not meant for publication?
4) Vocabulary: quench. When you know the denotation of this word, What does it suggest about her feelings for him?
5) Vocabulary: recompense. This word does not fit the rhyme scheme. What effect does that have?
6) Vocabulary: persever, likely accented on the second syllable.

Post-reading questions:

1) What are the series of metaphors Bradstreet uses to express her love?
2) What do you make of the paradox in the final line? What does it say about Bradstreet's faith?
3) How does Bradstreet use a personal poem to make a statement of faith?

Lesson Starts! BACK TO INDEX