Anne Bradstreet's "Here Follows Some Verses upon the Burning of Our House"

Essay by xosme326A+, October 2005

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Anne Bradstreet's "Here Follows Some Verses upon the Burning of Our House" is a perfect example of Puritan writing. Her faith and values are made apparent within the first ten lines of the poem. The poem is entirely about Anne's thoughts as she watches her house burn. She makes the readers feel as though they are witnessing their own possessions and houses catch fire. Anne rhymes every couple of lines. This affects the way the poem flows and it allows the reader to process the two rhyming lines together before going on to the next couple. Furthermore, Anne is very conscious of her word choice and uses words with very strong connotations. Words such as fire, ashes and ruin are all used to show the severity of the damage. All of her possessions are destroyed. However, she contrasts those words with words like hope, treasure and love. While the first group of words is used to describe her material possessions, the second group describes her faith and relationship with God.

It is clear that God and salvation are Anne's first priorities.

Anne Bradstreet alludes to the Bible many times in "Here Follows Some Verses upon the Burning of Our House." In Line 14 she says, "I blest His name that gave and took." There are many biblical passages that discuss how God has given us everything and how he can easily take it away. In Line 40 Anne writes, "The arm of flesh didst make thy trust?" She is referring to people who become so full of vanity or pride that they forget that they are only made of human flesh. They trust in themselves too much. Likewise the Bible says, "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and...