Expression of feelings in To My Dear and Loving Husband by Anne Bradstreet

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Poetry is defined as a literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style and rhythm. When most people think about poetry, love poems come to mind. Love is unique to individuals in meaning. Though love does not have a concrete definition, through the works of poets love has substance and meaning that can be identified.
Love promotes a feeling of connection with a certain person as if becoming one. In “To My Dear and Loving Husband,” Anne Bradstreet proclaims her connection to her husband in the first two lines. “If ever two were one, then surely we. If ever man were lov’d by wife, then thee;” (Bradstreet). She feels this love deeply and apparently so does her husband as she speaks for him as well. “Bradstreet begins her poem with two bold, independent, declarative statements in order to underscore her confidence in this union of two strong, independent spirits” (Napierkowski). A powerful association in love has a spiritual and religious feel to it. Bradstreet’s Puritan views of marriage is evident in this poem. “And the two shall become one flesh, so then they are no longer two, but one flesh” (The Holy Bible). Christians and Puritans have similar doctrine. In both religions, marriage love is a symbol of the love between Christ and the Church. “The love between husband and wife in the ideal state of marriage may be considered and analogy for the love between Christ and the soul or Christ and his Church” (Stafford). Love in a Christian definition is a symbol of the relationship between God and mankind. “I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold, Or all the riches in the East doth hold. My love is such that rivers cannot quench” (Bradstreet). Bradstreet rei...

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...will not be returning to her. The guilt and sorrow of the statement “in my heart there stirs a quiet pain” invokes the notion that it is not that she regrets love but that love is gone. “The central phrase in this section is “quiet pain,” and almost oxymoron suggesting that the narrator’s grief is muted or accepted. Millay offers a brief glimpse of things to come as well: There will be no intimacy in the future” (Schurer). The mention of two season in the poem are symbols of a life span. “Thus in winter stands the lonely tree,” is an indication that this is near the end of the narrator’s life and she is alone without love. “winter brings stagnation and acceptance of what has been lost. Winter was inevitable, just as the loss of love was inevitable I only know that summer sand in me A little while, that in me sings no more,” is a symbol of youth. Millay conveys that

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