Puritan Poetry and Edward Taylor

Essay by frogbell87 April 2004

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The Puritans produced many poets over the colonial period. Puritan lifestyle was based on three major principles. These principles were humbleness, simple life, and faith in G-d. The puritans strictly adhered to these principles. Another principle, although not as important, was the principle of regeneration. This is accepting people back into the Church or "re-bearing" them The poetry of the Puritans was greatly affected by these three and much can be seen about Puritan life from these texts. Edward Taylor's texts were also greatly influenced. Some of his poems are Upon a Wasp Chilled with Cold, Upon a Spider Catching a Fly, Huswifery, and Our Insufficiency to Praise G-d Suitably for His Mercy.

In Upon a Wasp Chilled with Cold Taylor is greatly affected by the Puritan way. He speaks of "the northern blast." This "northern blast" is the troubles and sorrows of the average person. Soon after Taylor speaks of "Sol's warm breath."

This is the grace of G-d. Taylor is speaking of the troubled human being saved by the grace of G-d. This relates to one of the principles of faith.

In Huswifery Taylor shows the third principle of faith. He shows the principle of simple living. Taylor asks G-d to take all his immaterial positions and create for him a beautiful garment of G-d's glory. Taylor writes this while showing us that all he needs is to be clothed in G-d's glory and nothing else..

In Upon a Spider Catching a Fly Taylor refers to another principle of faith, humbleness. He speaks of himself as the "petty fly" and how he is caught by the web of the devil. Then he says "Thy grace to break the cord" which shows his humbleness. He is asking God to help him because he cannot do it himself. He asks...