In Anne Dudley's  "The Prologue"  and "The Author to Her Book," explain how she furthers the concept of women's abilities and prowess.  

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Anne Bradstreet begins her prologue with a great deal of self-denigration, saying that her "mean Pen" is unfitted for the subjects of great epic, and comparing herself unfavorably with the Huguenot poet, Du Bartas, a comparison which sounds more modest, or even sarcastic, now than it was intended to be, as Bradstreet is a much better-known poet than Du Bartas in the English-speaking world.

Bradstreet does point out, however, that critics of women poets in general are unreasonable. If she writes well, she will be condemned for plagiarism or for mere luck. In an allusion to the title of The Tenth Muse, lately Sprung up in America, she refers to the more liberal and cultivated attitudes of Ancient Greece, who made poetry the province of the nine Muses:

But sure the antique Greeks were far more mild,
Else of our Sex, why feigned they those nine
And poesy made Calliope’s own child?
Bradstreet also returns to the classical tradition in writing a poem that apostrophizes her own book, demonstrating her own learning and wide reading. Again, however, she uses humble language, as well as suggesting that the book was first published without her knowledge, or at least without her consent:
Thou ill-form’d offspring of my feeble brain,
Who after birth didst by my side remain,
Till snatched from thence by friends, less wise than true,
Who thee abroad, expos’d to publick view...
However, she does assert how hard she has worked to polish her poetry, to the point where critics will naturally enquire about the book's father, assuming a male writer. Bradstreet instructs her book to reply:
If for thy Father askt, say, thou hadst none:
And for thy Mother, she alas is poor,
Which caus’d her thus to send thee out of door.
This is a kind of proud modesty in her achievement, Bradstreet's equivalent of the Shakespearean "an ill-favored thing, sir, but mine own."
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In "The Prologue," Anne Dudley defends her choice to be a poet even though she is a woman. She address those "Who [say] my hand a needle better fits" and points to the ancient Greeks as "far more mild" toward women writers than her present-day male peers. Dudley also states, tongue-in-cheek, that she is not trying to compete with men—who she avers will only shine in comparison to her—but nevertheless she asserts that, as a woman, she has a right to write.

In "The Author to her Book," Dudley begins by denigrating her poetic work—but then makes a turn to appreciating it as one would a child. She writes:

Yet being mine own, at length affection would
Thy blemishes amend, if so I could:
I wash’d thy face, but more defects I saw,
And rubbing off a spot, still made a flaw.
I stretched thy joynts to make thee even feet
She speaks of her "affection" for her poetry. She also points to how hard she worked to make her poems as good as possible: she tried to correct the errors she found and stretched the "joints" of her poetic child to make even rhythms.
While asserting her modesty, Dudley manages to position herself as a hardworking and dedicated professional poet with a right to sit at the poets' table, even if she is a woman.
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What a coup for women—the first American poet to be published was a woman.  Anne Bradstreet served as a woman to be admired.  Despite living in man’s world and the severity of the Puritan religion, Bradstreet used her cleverness to function outside of the accepted place of women in seventeenth century America.

“The Prologue” expresses the struggles faced by the women in Puritanical society.  Women were meant to stay in the home, raise the children, and serve her husband.  Considered to have little ability in anything other than the familial life, women were treated as incapable and unequal to the task of writing. 

Bradstreet stands against this philosophy and avows that women can do what men believe is solely their bailiwick---write poetry. To Bradstreet, her responsibility was to prove that women were not the coy, fickle, foolish mediocrities portrayed by men.  She was unafraid to criticize the Puritans with a sardonic wit and the use of classical writing style.

Clearly, Bradstreet disagrees with the stereotypical version of the woman’s place:

I am obnoxious to each carping tongue

Who says my hand a needle better fits, 
A poet's pen all scorn I should thus wrong, 
For such  despite they cast on female wits.

The clever poem “The Author to Her Book”  treats the poem as though it were her errant child.  She compares the author to a parent who has worried over and loved her poetry.  When a child goes out into the world, the parent can hope that he has prepared him for what he will face.  The same is true of the poem.  Will it be understood, accepted, and respected?

Part of style in the poem is to assume the role of a less than able writer.  The poem has not always responded in an effective way.  She calls her work “my rambling brat” revealing the negative side of writing and parenting. However, like any parent or writer, the child or work still belongs to her and she loves it despite its flaws.   She does edit the work and amends it to more reflect her own personality.

Bradstreet uses personification to elicit a positive response from the reader.  She worries over her book just as a parent shows anxiety when the child is to be judged.

Thy visage was so irksome in my sight; 
Yet being mine own, at length affection would 
Thy blemishes amend, if so I could: 
I wash'd thy face, but more defects I saw, 
And rubbing off a spot, still made a flaw. 

The parent finds fault with the child just as the author is never completely satisfied with his writing. Bradstreet’s witty portrayal of the complexities of writing and worrying about its acceptance cleverly transcends gender and the Puritan harshness toward women.

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