(excerpts) Verses upon the burning of our house by Anne Bradstreet(1612-1672)

When by the Ruins oft I past
My sorrowing eyes aside did cast
And here and there the places spy
Where oft I sate and long did lie.
Here stood that Trunk, and there that chest,
There lay that store I counted best,
My pleasant things in ashes lie
And them behold no more shall I.
Under the roof no guest shall sit,
Nor at thy Table eat a bit.
No pleasant talk shall ‘ere be told
Nor things recounted done of old.
No Candle ‘ere shall shine in Thee,
Nor bridegroom’s voice ere heard shall bee.
In silence ever shalt thou lie.

The poem written by Anne Bradstreet ,the first American published poet feels like any typical English poem of the times with none of the unique flavor of the American poetry of the later times. What strikes me ,however, is the directness and immediacy of the expression borne out of the horrendous experience of the burning of her house reducing all her earthly possessions to ashes. I like the expression “my sorrowing eyes“.

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