Edward Taylor’s Upon Wedlock, and Death of Children and Upon a Wasp Chilled with Cold are similar in their approach with the illustration of how beautiful and magnificent God’s creations are to humankind. However, each poem presents tragic misfortune, such as the death of his own children in Upon Wedlock, and Death of Children and the cold, enigmatic nature of human soul in Upon a Wasp Chilled with Cold.
Taylor’s poems create an element of how cruel reality can be, as well as manifest an errant correlation between earthly life and spiritual salvation, which is how you react to the problems you face on earth determines the salvation that God has in store for you. In Upon Wedlock, and Death of Children, Taylor uses personification and imagery by creating the setting of the union between him and his wife on his wedding day. He states that “It was the True-Love Knot, more sweet than spice, And set with all the flowers of Grace’s dress. It’s Wedden’s Knot, that ne’re can be untied: No Alexander’s Sword can it divide.” While in this union, he uses a symbolic term called a ‘knot’, which is a bevy of flowers within a flower bed, in contrast to the birth of two of his many children, Elizabeth Taylor and Abigail Taylor. This comparison is used to elucidate the lifespan of a flower and use it in relation to that of a human being. Near the end of the poem, Taylor gives off a joyous and happy expression in the death of his children, almost coming across as grateful for the passing of his children. He states that, “That as I said, I say, take, Lord, they’re Thine./I piecemeal pass to Glory brought in them.”
This statement creates an image to the reader that he holds no angst towards God in the death is playing favorites in whom he wants to grant salvation to while they are alive on Earth, there is no incentive for anyone to care. If God is so merciful, then these Calvinistic Puritan doctrines should not exist and everyone should be granted spiritual salvation and grace while they are alive on earth at all times. Edward Taylor’s arguments and symbolic imagery of the beauty of God and how gracious he is are highly questionable and shoddy – similar to God and Puritan theology.
- Taylor, Edward. “Upon Wedlock, and Death of Children.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Nina Baym. 8th ed. Vol. A. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2012. 303-304. Print.