Compare/Contrast : “Huswifery” and “To My Dear Loving Husband"

In the poems “Huswifery” by Edward Taylor and “To My Dear Loving Husband” by Anne Bradstreet use very contrasting writing styles. These were both written in the Puritan era; where the government was a theocracy, the church controlled everything and the people’s lifestyles were severely restricted. I believe that these poems are prime examples of how their strict lives affected the way the writer’s poems came out the way they did.

The poems use different sentence orders. In “Huswifery”, the writer uses regular sentence order in what we would call modern English: Subject, verb and then everything else. “And make my Soule thy holy Spoole to bee” (4). This form of sentence order was unusual and not common to speech at this time. However, the most common form was syntax and that’s where “To My Dear and Loving Husband” comes in. This poem uses the out of order sentence structure, for example: “The heavens reward thee manifold, I/ pray” (12-13). Most people think this way of writing is more sophisticated but in this time it was the norm. A difference was discovered here between these poems, the fact that they use totally opposite sentence orders.

Figurative language is used in both poems “Huswifery” and “To My Dear and Loving Husband”; however it is conveyed very differently. In “To My Dear and Loving Husband” the writer expresses her love towards her husband in a strange laconic and lackluster fashion, using very few examples of figurative language. As an example, “I prize thy love more than whole mines of/ gold,” (5-6). That last line was an example of a simile but that is really the only figurative language used in that one stanza and the whole poem. This poem seems begrudged to be written in my opinion. On the other hand, “Huswifery” is a poem about a man with alacrity towards God, uses hardly any figurative language; however it seems like one plethora of a hyperbole. As it has been made evident, both poems do not use a great deal of figurative language; one was a bland love letter and the other about a melodramatic suck up. The reason the poems where so without color, was probably because their lives were so controlled and boring they did not know many descriptive words in which to put into their poems…

Both poems use exceptionally different sentence styles. “To My Dear and Loving Husband” uses varying sentences lengths and types. The whole poem is made up of words eight to nine words in length and has complex and compound sentences. For example, “If ever a man were lov’d by wife, then thee; / If ever wife was happy in a man” (2-3). A sort of pattern is formed with these sentences: short, long, short and at the end, long. The poem is not very complex in sentence choice but has semi-long sentences. Meanwhile, “Huswifery” sentences are quite different in length and structure. The entire poem is impressively made up of only nine sentences, varying from six to nine words in each sentence and consisting mostly of simple and short or complex sentences. An example of this in the poem: he yarn is fine” (9). All in all, “Huswifery” is poem of greater height on the writing scale than “To My Dear and Loving Husband”.

As it has been made clear as crystal, these two poems although were written in the same time period, were different in many ways. The topics were totally different but both poems seem to convey an unwillingness or not caring tone of voice. I have come to a final conclusion that these two people’s life styles caused their poems to turn out the way they did. And it makes me wonder how much better or worse they could have been if the writers had not lived in that era…

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