What are some common themes found in Puritan poetry?

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Puritan poetry was guided by strict codes and rules as was any Puritan writing. Themes had to be focused and were only relevant in so- far-as they referred to the glory of God. Anything not linked to God and worship was frowned upon. Reading the Bible was expected and novels strictly forbidden. Any work of fiction was useless and therefore could not contribute to a life dedicated to worshipping God and so was unnecessary. Sermons were transcripted and could also be read at leisure.

Anne Bradstreet was completely dedicted to her husband and to God but she did include vivid descriptions and talked about her husband instead of her God. Her poem, "To My Dear and Loving Husband"

If ever two were one, then surely we.

bends the rules of the plain, Puritan style,

which was characterized by short words, direct statements, and references to ordinary, everyday objects.

However, she clearly believed that marriage was a gift from God and therefore her expressions were a manifestation of that gift.

Anne Bradstreet's passion is thus a major theme in her work.  Jonathan Edwards' sermons urged people to come to know Christ;

Any writing of the Puritans was steeped in culture and reverence to the Bible was paramount. At the same time, sermons were considered some of the finest literary examples of Puritan writing.

Any piece of writing which didn't concentrate on "useful" topics or give glory to God were seen as dangerous.



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