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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 336

Edward Taylor's "Huswifery" is a relatively short poem. It is comprised of three stanzas that are each six lines apiece. Stanza number one begins with an unidentified narrator making a direct request of God. The request is stated as an imperative statement, and it requests that God transform the speaker into a spinning wheel. The unnamed narrator is likely Taylor himself, since he was a trained minister. The rest of the first stanza works its way through various parts and pieces of a spinning wheel. A spinning wheel is the tool that takes raw fibers and transforms them into thread or yarn.

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The second stanza of the poem begins the next step in the cloth-making process. Stanza one had the narrator making yarn or thread from fibers, and stanza two now takes that yarn or thread into the next step. The second request of God is to make the narrator into a loom. A loom is a machine that weaves threads into a fully formed piece of cloth. Stanza two doesn't spend as much time discussing each part of the loom. That makes sense because it is a much more complex piece of machinery, but the speaker also uses stanza number two to petition God to color the cloth as well.

Stanza number three is the final stanza of the poem, and it moves onto the final step. The poem has turned raw fibers into cloth, and the third stanza asks God to use that cloth to clothe the speaker. Because the clothes were formed with God's help, they are very special clothes that reflect various Godly virtues. The fourth line of stanza three tells readers that the speaker wants to be clothed in these magnificent clothes in order to reflect God's glory. This glorification has a two part function. First, it reflects God's glory to the sinful world around the speaker. Second, the final couplet of the poem tells readers that the narrator also wants to appear right in the eyes of his holy creator.

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Themes