Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 338
Edward Taylor, a Puritan poet, wrote "Huswifery" as a revelation of how important religion was to him. The extended metaphor in this very religious poem is that of a spinning wheel, a device that people used to create cloth out of thread. Huswifery refers to the tasks that are done in a home. Taylor uses the metaphor of the wheel to signify the speaker's life. God is the one who spins the wheel, and the speaker is the wheel itself.
There are two characters in the poem: the speaker and God.
The speaker begins by asking God to take an active role in his life. Essentially, he's giving his life to God. The speaker wishes for God to be the one who uses the wheel to do what He wishes with the speaker's life—so God would make the cloth of the speaker's life. The narrator asks God to "make my Soule thy holy Spoole to bee" and "reele the yarn" of his life. He will no longer take an active role in making decisions in his life.
In the second stanza, the speaker offers himself to God as "thy Loome," meaning he tells God that he will be the instrument of God's will. He reiterates that God has complete control over his life and the speaker will accept that fact. Instead of making his own way and choices, the speaker prefers that the "Holy Spirit, Lord, winde quills;/ Then weave the Web thyselfe." He accepts that God will determine whatever happens to him. In this way, the speaker takes no blame or credit for anything that happens in his life—he can say everything that happens is God's will.
The third stanza specifically names the aspects of the speaker's life that he wishes to give to God: "mine Understanding, Will, / Affections, Judgment, Conscience, Memory, / My Words, and Actions." Once he has given up every aspect of his life, he can then be fully one with God. Only then will be be "Cloathd in Holy robes for glory."
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