The early American poems "Huswifery" and "Upon the Burning of Our House," although similar in many ways, also have very distinct qualities to them. Edward Taylor and Anne Bradstreet use comparable styles, themes, and structures, possibly because they had the same cultural and religious heritage. On the other hand, these poems were written for different purposes and used dissimilar language.
The style of "Huswifery" and "Upon the Burning of Our House" is very similar, which displays the significant effect of Puritanism on early Americans. Both of these poems are very rigid, structural, and simple. For example, both of these poems are iambic and follow the strict conventions of iambic poetry. While "Huswifery" is written in pentameter, with ten syllables per line, and "Upon the Burning of Our House" is written in tetrameter, with eight syllables per line, both of these works adhere to the respective rules of that type of poetry. This rigidity is very common in Puritan literature. However, a slight difference in these two poems is that "Huswifery" is written in pentameter and "Upon the Burning of Our House" is written in tetrameter.
The similar structure of "Huswifery" and "Upon the Burning of Our House" also lends itself to Puritanism. Both of these poems use masculine rhyme, a very simple form of rhyming that is characteristic of Puritan literature. Also, the poems are inverted, rearranging the words for rhyme's sake, quality of English poetry. The first line of "Upon the Burning of Our House" is inverted. It places the verb before the subject when saying, "When rest I took," as opposed to the traditional, "When I took rest." Edward Taylor also inverts many lines in "Huswifery." The rhyme scheme of "Upon the Burning of Our House" is very simple; it consists of two rhyming lines followed by two more rhyming lines. Taylor employs a scheme that is slightly more complicated, rhyming the first and third lines, and then in...
Continue reading this essay Continue reading
Page 1 of 3