Edward Taylor

Edward Taylor (1642 - 1729)

Edward Taylor (ca.1642–1729) was a colonial American poet, physician, and pastor.

Taylor was born in Sketchly, Leicestershire, England and emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in America in 1668. During his voyage to America, Taylor chronicled his Atlantic crossing from April 26, 1668 to his landing July 5, 1671 in his now published Diary. Upon graduating from Harvard, he became a physician and pastor in Westfield, Massachusetts.

While Taylor was a prolific poet, his work languished in relative obscurity until 1937, when his manuscripts were uncovered by Thomas Johnson, long-buried in the library of Yale University. The first sections of Taylor’s Preparatory Meditations (1682–1725) and God’s Determinations touching his Elect (ca. 1680) were published directly following their discovery; however, Taylor’s complete poems were not published until 1960.

Taylor is the only known American poet who wrote in the metaphysical style. His best-known work is the conceit titled “Huswifery,” a direct comparison between weaving and God’s salvation through divine grace.

Poems By Edward Taylor


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