Anne Bradstreet was one of the first significant female poets of her time. Although she was England-born, Anne and her family were one of the first puritans to migrate to America around 1630. Because Bradstreet came from a prominent family, she was very well educated, which was an uncommon attribute for a woman of her time. She was married off at a young age to Simon Bradstreet. Because of the threat of a woman being banned or shunned by her community for expressing views/ideas, Anne kept her poetry and other personal works to herself.
The poem “To My Dear and Loving Husband” is a beautifully written poem by a woman who is completely and utterly in love with her husband. This poem is written in a first-person narrative of a wife speaking directly to her husband. This poem can reflect Anne and Simon’s actual relationship with each other. Many of Anne’s works and poems were personal and revolved around her own life. I believe this poem was truly written to her husband Simon. The entire poem elaborates, in such a brilliant and passionate way, on the love the speaker and her husband share for each other and how grateful she is. This is what she wants her readers to understand. Throughout the poem, she reinforces that she is not only one of the luckiest and blessed women, but the luckiest. This poem grabbed my attention immediately because of how in love she is. Throughout my life, I have never experienced a love as explained in this poem. I only hope that one day I could experience the feeling of being the luckiest woman in the world.
“If ever two were one, then surely we” (Line 1) In the very first line in the poem, the author explains that if two people have ever been completely and truly united as one person, it would definitely be the speaker and her husband. This demonstrates how the author incorporates the recurring themes of religion and family into her work. The true definition of marriage is the uniting of two people, a man and a woman, and their souls into one in perfect harmony. The poem continues on using comparisons to explain and prove the wife’s love to her husband. The first few lines of the poem use anaphora with the repetitive phrase ‘if ever.’ This reinforces that there ever was a situation, husband, wife, or love like she describes, it would be them. Lines 6 and 7 of the poem states how much the wife “prizes” or values the love that her and her husband shares. Her love for her husband overpowers everything, even something as powerful as money and riches. She does not need money to be ‘rich’ for her love for her husband makes her one of the richest women in the world. She goes on to say how she could never repay her husband for his love. (Lines 9 and 10) Bradstreet ends the poem using alliteration; we live, in love (Lines 11 and 12) to explain how her love for her husband will last longer than life itself. It can also reflect the “till death do us part” line that is part of marriage vows.
Both Othello and “To My Dear and Loving Husband” share a common theme of love. However, unlike Othello, Bradstreet’s poem does not contain any form of a ‘hate’ theme. In both works, it is shown that true love is more important and stronger than life itself. While trying to prove to Brabantio that his love for Desdemona is real, Othello puts his life on the line without a second thought. “If you do find me foul in her report…Not only take away, but let your sentence, Even fall upon my life” (Lines 110-120, pg 971) Sometimes, love is not easy and causes problems. “My downright violence and storm of fortunes, May trumpet to the world; my heart’s subdu’d” (Lines 248 &249, pg 972). She is saying that she knows of all the danger she is causing by the love she has for Othello and it is still worth the risk. By speaking up about their love for each other, they are risking their lives. However this is unimportant to them because love overpowers all.