In the first two stanzas of the poem "Huswifery" by Edward Taylor, to what household objects and activities does the speaker compare himself?

Expert Answers
sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The activity that the speaker of the poem is comparing himself to is the process of making cloth.  

In order to create that finished product, the speaker needs some specific tools.  One of those tools is named in the first stanza of the poem.  That tool is a spinning wheel, which is a fairly large tool.  

Make me, O Lord, thy Spining Wheele compleate. 

The second stanza of the poem mentions another tool.  That tool is a loom.  It too is a large tool.  

Make me thy Loome then, knit therein this Twine: 

Probably a better way to understand why the speaker names those two tools is to understand the purpose of those two tools.  A spinning wheel makes thread from raw fibers.  A loom takes that thread (and many others) and weaves them together to make cloth.  A loom doesn't work without thread spun by a loom.  Stanza two can't happen without stanza one.  The final goal of the speaker is to be made into cloth, which means he needs the spinning wheel and loom to start and complete the process.  

podunc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the first stanza, the speaker asks the Lord to make him a "spinning wheele." The rest of the stanza details the parts of the wheel, including the distaff (holds the wool), the flyers (guide the spinning), the spool (twists the yarn), and the reel (holds the finished thread).

In the second stanza, the speaker asks the Lord to "make me thy Loome" and goes through a similar list of parts such as the quills (spools of a loom).

Taylor uses the literary device of the conceit (extended comparison) in these stanzas to indicate that the speaker wants to be guided and used by God for God's purposes, just as a craftsman would use a spinning wheel or a loom.