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Anne Bradstreet - Prologue

1 To sing of Wars, of Captains, and of Kings,
2 Of Cities founded, Common-wealths begun,
3 For my mean Pen are too superior things;
4 Or how they all, or each their dates have run,
5 Let Poets and Historians set these forth.
6 My obscure lines shall not so dim their worth. 

7 But when my wond'ring eyes and envious heart
8 Great Bartas' sugar'd lines do but read o'er,
9 Fool, I do grudge the Muses did not part
10 'Twixt him and me that over-fluent store.
11 A Bartas can do what a Bartas will
12 But simple I according to my skill. 

13 From School-boy's tongue no Rhet'ric we expect,
14 Nor yet a sweet Consort from broken strings,
15 Nor perfect beauty where's a main defect.
16 My foolish, broken, blemished Muse so sings,
17 And this to mend, alas, no Art is able,
18 'Cause Nature made it so irreparable. 

19 Nor can I, like that fluent sweet-tongued Greek
20 Who lisp'd at first, in future times speak plain.
21 By Art he gladly found what he did seek,
22 A full requital of his striving pain.
23 Art can do much, but this maxim's most sure:
24 A weak or wounded brain admits no cure. 

25 I am obnoxious to each carping tongue
26 Who says my hand a needle better fits.
27 A Poet's Pen all scorn I should thus wrong,
28 For such despite they cast on female wits.
29 If what I do prove well, it won't advance,
30 They'll say it's stol'n, or else it was by chance. 

31 But sure the antique Greeks were far more mild,
32 Else of our Sex, why feigned they those nine
33 And poesy made Calliope's own child?
34 So 'mongst the rest they placed the Arts divine,
35 But this weak knot they will full soon untie.
36 The Greeks did nought but play the fools and lie. 

37 Let Greeks be Greeks, and Women what they are.
38 Men have precedency and still excel;
39 It is but vain unjustly to wage war.
40 Men can do best, and Women know it well.
41 Preeminence in all and each is yours;
42 Yet grant some small acknowledgement of ours. 

43 And oh ye high flown quills that soar the skies,
44 And ever with your prey still catch your praise,
45 If e'er you deign these lowly lines your eyes,
46 Give thyme or Parsley wreath, I ask no Bays.
47 This mean and unrefined ore of mine
48 Will make your glist'ring gold but more 

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Added: Mar 14 2005 | Viewed: 13103 times | Comments and analysis of Prologue by Anne Bradstreet Comments (5)

Prologue - Comments and Information

Poet: Anne Bradstreet
Poem: Prologue
Poem of the Day: May 24 2005

Comment 5 of 5, added on March 13th, 2010 at 10:18 AM.

this poem is an attempt of a feminist poet trying to state that women in the puritan society should'n be considered of anyless status than that of men.she states that poetry in general is considered unfeminine which is not true and that women can also excel in it.she asks for recoganition and says that good poetry by woman are not just by mere luck.

vishy from India
Comment 4 of 5, added on December 31st, 2009 at 1:16 AM.
this poem shows the weak points of western world in that time

hi as i read this poem i found that your world was so poor in that time.
the poet of this poem is trying to explain her sadness and trying to find a way to escape from it.

Hafez from Iran
Comment 3 of 5, added on February 24th, 2009 at 11:27 AM.

Anne Bradstreet's poem, "The Prologue," portrays the struggles of being a woman in a Puritan society. She realized that in a Puritan society, women were not meant to speak their mind and have strong opinions. With this poem she acknowledges her role as a woman in society even if she doesn't agree with it. Anne Bradstreet shows her recognition of men's supposed superiority in that time period with this line: "Men can do best, and women know it well" (40). Regardless of her acknowledgment of her role in society, she uses her poetry to convey her feelings and opinions about it through honesty and humor.
Anne Bradstreet lived in a time where women were meant to keep quite and tend to the children and home. She wrote "The Prologue" during this time to express her opinion on a woman's voice in society. She wrote in an atmosphere in which women were relegated to traditional roles. When reading this poem it is clear to see that Anne Bradstreet valued knowledge and intellect......

KARIM from Algeria

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