Omnipotence - Jellinek 1 Hannah Jellinek ENGL 203 Professor...

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Jellinek 1 Hannah Jellinek ENGL 203 Professor Garrett September 23, 2012 Omnipotens(?) Anne Bradstreet in Contemplations (1678) raises questions about an individual’s relationship and engagement with God. Through that analysis, she also addresses the universal predicament between a world of material success versus a world of spiritual ambition. While most New England Puritan poets at the time remained anonymous, Bradstreet projects herself as an author. She draws individual attention to her writing, yet is self-deprecating throughout, and notes her own “imbecility.” Her poem suggests a generalized wish for grace, rather than one individual’s plea. Like other authors at the time, such as Edward Taylor, Michael Wigglesworth and William Byrd, Bradstreet attempts to describe God, the Creator’s, worldly influence. She writes: Thy presence makes it day, thy absence night, Quaternal seasons caused by thy might: Hail creature, full of sweetness, beauty and delight. (216) Bradstreet’s rhythm, as well as her specific language, evoke a sense of familiarity. Words such as “thy” and “hail,” provide comfort for the audience in 1678, as they could have encountered this same language in the Bible. The verse is formal and has structure.
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