Anne Bradstreet and Michael Wigglesworth

It is evidently clear from the discussion that Michael Wigglesworth (1631-1705), a New England Puritan minister, and a contemporary of Anne Bradstreet, was a poet whose work reflected New England Puritanism. He examined the dogmas of his time and used them for admonishing and consoling mankind through poetry. Wigglesworth is well-known for his poem The Day of Doom, filled with religious melancholy and written in ballad meter. It was widely sold out and became very popular. Both Anne Bradstreet’s and Michael Wigglesworth’s poems reflect Puritan beliefs of living a pure life devoid of indulgence, in the quest for Godliness, and in spreading God’s word to all. Anne Bradstreet wrote prolifically, with most of her poetic work related to everyday happenings, her family, and the strength she constantly got from her religious beliefs. The works of Michael Wigglesworth also had a strong thread of religious beliefs running through them. They include several small poems in addition to three poetical works of great length. According to Tyler, Wigglesworth’s multitude of stanzas raises him to a level above all other poets of the colonial time, except Anne Bradstreet. Both poets worked with similar Puritan perspectives, however, their argument styles and techniques were different. A well-known poem written by Anne Bradstreet is Verses Upon the Burning of Our House, July 10th, 1666. The significance of this poem lies in the tension between her worldly concerns regarding her household furnishings, against her spiritual aspirations.

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