Anne Bradstreets poem, To my Dear and Loving Husband presents a beautiful love theme. “Of ever two were one, then surely we” (1). This quotation is important because Bradstreet is pointing out that she does not feel as though she is one individual person. And one of the first questions that come to my mind is if Bradstreet was trying to make a point for all wives to be that way or she felt insecure about her own self. The poem itself portrays a loving wife, but the fact is she sounds like she is afraid to be alone, that her husband is the one who makes her complete, in another words, it makes her be a full person.
Also we see the great value she has for the love of her husband by the way she describes it as meaning more to her than all the gold in the world and how her own love for her husband is a love that she cannot stop, because her love is “such that rivers cannot quench” (7). The first part in this poem, “If ever two were one” (1) sets us with expectations to continue with the reading. These words show that Bradstreet and her husband were really in love, that this love could unite two persons and make them one. Bradstreet and her husband think, act, and feel much like they are part of each other.
The tone of this poem tells us that she is a very religious, because she speaks of praying and the heavens. We get the impression that she is a very dedicated person, to her family and to God. She prides herself on that dedication when she mention that heavens rewarded her with a family and a loving husband. Thats exactly what Jeannine Hensley said on puritans. com about her poems: Her poetry is a combination of Sixteenth Century convention, her new-found faith, and her struggle for the survival of her family and her relationship with God.
Particularly significant to the poem are her references to the wealth that she has, a wealth that is base on her love for her husband and nothing in this earth is more costly that her love. The really love will costs you some pain, and she alludes to the cost with words such as recompense, repay, and the phrase heavens repay. Bradstreet is saying that love is a gift from God, but one that we must work for in order to fully enjoy the gift and its rewards. Her repeated references to life also seem important.
It seems she is saying that the love itself has a life of its own that will outlive their earthly life. The second paragraph of this poem starts, “If ever wife was happy in man/ Compare with me, ye women, if you can” (3-4). This paragraph shows us that she is not only happy with her husband, but she is also reinforcing his knowledge that she is in love with him and that their relationship is based in true love and goes as far as to challenge anyone who could be happier.
This poem brings the institution of marriage to mind, and the real emotions and ideas that are usually held by two people when they are married and in love. Also it brings to my attention, from the readings that we done on the Puritans, how important were for them the sanctity of marriage. Some of the aspects that we see in this poem is the metamorphosis that she used to compare how significant is her love, and she compares it with words like these: I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold/ Or all the riches that the East doth hold (5-6).
These images seem important because they are a signal of the true love she professes for her husband and it proves the worth of their relationship to her. She obviously considers herself lucky to have found her husband, and considers him as some sort of treasure. This also has another implication. When Bradstreet mentions the whole mine of gold she is implying that their love is not comparable with material wealth and their love is strong enough to last even if they lost everything else they had.
The comparison with nature’s forces, like the river, is another important image as a way of describing how powerful their love is. Bradstreet consistently refers to her husband as being a “man” whereas she refers to herself as being a wife. This seems to be indicative that she viewed herself like she was an extension of her husband and without much of an individual identity. It sounds as if she depends on her husband, that a wife lives through her husband, not independently or as equals.
Bradstreet also implies that her love for her husband is so vast and spiritual that it extends beyond the normal view of the world. To me she is implying that their love will live forever, beyond death, even in Heaven. The main focus on this poem is that marriage is an institution that you vow to be the other half of a special person. A union is formed to mold two different people into one. You not only become joined together for financial reasons or to form a family, but you become the best of friends, partners for life and that are what really count.
The poems theme is obvious, the love that a husband and wife should have should be a love that is above everything is this world. No wealth like gold, or turbulence, like a river, would be able to destroy a love that is a reward from Heaven. Marriage should last for eternity and not even death would not keep them apart. We can see that most of Bradstreets poems are based in the love that she had for her family. She wanted her family to know that her love would always be part of them and that no matter what they do, the blessings from above will always be with them.