How can you explain the style of the poem Verses Upon the Burning of Our House by the Puritan Anne Bradstreet?
I will analyze the poem Verses Upon the Burning of Our House by the Puritan Anne Bradstreet, who most critics consider to be America’s first “authentic poet.” The poem is based on a true story as Anne’s house really did burn down and describes her meditations on this event, the pain she felt after losing her home and the effect it had on her faith. The main theme of the text is Anne’s struggle not to become attached to material things.
Verses Upon the Burning of Our House is a poem written in couplets (two successive lines that rhyme) in iambic tetrameter scheme (an unaccented syllable followed by an accented syllable). Bradstreet also uses an AABBCC rhyme scheme which makes the story flow nicely and has a calmed and relaxed tone.
The style of the text is really simple because Anne Bradstreet uses what is known as “Puritan Plain Style” through which she makes clear and direct statements with simple sentences and words, and meditates on faith and God. It usually contains a few elaborate figures of speech and is often used to make God’s message available to everyone. Having mentioned that, it is true that is some parts of the poem, we can see a more ornate style with more complex sentence structures or words. Anne is also very conscious of her word choice and uses words and sentences with very strong connotations and full of imagery. She too uses negative words like ashes and fearful to describe the fire and contrasts them with positive words like gift and glory to talk about God.