Anne Bradstreet's poem "The Author to Her Book," serves as an extended metaphor in which she compares and author and her book to a mother and her child. The book is described as the author's "ill-form'd offspring," birthed from her mind, whose defects and flaws convert it into a source of shame for its mother, who addresses it as "My rambling brat." Bradstreet uses this metaphor to illustrate the connection between an author and their work even after it has been sent out into the world. She shows the author as someone who has raised and nurtured their works, but is also harshly critical of their faults, as the work's shortcomings reflect her own.
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.
The author is responsible for the appearance of the child, and because she is "poor" in mind, possessing only a "feeble brain," she is unable to produce a book-child more fit for public viewing.
In comparing a book to a child, Bradstreet also makes good use of personification, a literary device in which human characteristics are figuratively attributed to nonhuman things. In an attempt to make her book more presentable for public view, the author cleans and tends it as one would a child.
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,
Yet still thou run’st more hobling then is meet;
The book has a face, joints, and feet, and it is able to run and roam the earth, being sent "out of door" by its mother. The book has been made into a human child, capable of independence and possessing a body that can be tended to.
The final literary device that Bradstreet most notably employs is apostrophe, a device in which an address is made to a person who is not present or to a personified object, such as the book-child. The entire poem is, as the title implies, an address from the author to her book, in which she speaks to it as if it can hear her, such as warning it to stay out of the hands of "Criticks" and instead seek out places where it has not been encountered yet.