In this paper, I want to review and examine Anne Bradstreet's poem "To My Dear and Loving Husband. This poem was written in 1641, but was not published until 1678 after her death. Because of this, many believe it was written as a personal note to her husband and was not meant to be publicized. In order to analyze this work, I feel it is important to know a few facts about her life. First of all, she was a Puritan, but often doubted and questioned the harsh Puritan concept of a judgmental God and the belief that women should be unspoken and obedient. Although she was born in England, she is considered to be one of the most well-known of early American poets at a time when little attention was given to women authors. At the age of sixteen, she married Simon Bradstreet, who played a key role in her literary career and was the focus in several of her poems.
In "To My Dear and Loving Husband , she expresses her love for her husband in an honest, straightforward, and passionate way. The reader of this poem can clearly see that she has deep feelings for him, but there are points in the poem where some of her Puritan beliefs are put to the test. For example, Puritans were normally unemotional and did not usually express their personal feelings in this dramatic manner. In this short poem, she communicates her intense love of him over and over again in a very emotional way. Bradstreet distinguishes herself in some of her poems by giving attention to human emotions rather than concentrating on religion. Even though she was a Puritan all of her life, this poem may not be a reflection of the Puritan life. "To My Dear and Loving Husband is such a powerful statement of love that the words she uses could lead some readers to believe that she not only loves him, but worships him. Love is being described in a way that is not expected of people who lived a reserved Puritan lifestyle.