Why does Bradstreet rhyme "harm" and "arms" in lines 19-20 in "Before the Birth of One of Her Children"? Pronouns in line 23-24 are "thou, thyself, me,...

Why does Bradstreet rhyme "harm" and "arms" in lines 19-20 in "Before the Birth of One of Her Children"?

Pronouns in line 23-24 are "thou, thyself, me, these"; what does bradstreet gain from those four words in that order?

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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Anne Bradstreet was one of the foremost female authors during the 17th century.  Her account of being captured by Native Americans was hugely popular in Britain (though it was published without her consent).  She also wrote many poems, most intensely personal.  This poem, about a young woman who fears dying in childbirth, is about a young woman's fears that she relays to her husband and what she would like him to do should she die.

Bradstreet wrote her poems in a formal form and meter, which was common in 17th century British poetry. She frequently used couplets in her poetry.  Many were composed of nothing but couplets.  In this poem, eNotes states:

Her iambic pentameter rhymed couplets are exact examples of the “heroic couplets” form, so popular in a time when God’s laws regulated human conduct and poetic laws regulated creative writers.

 This is why every 2 lines rhyme with one another.  

By using the pronouns "thou, thyself, me, these," the narrator makes the poem intensely personal in nature.

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