This year to celebrate National Poetry Month and to take part in the April A-Z Blogging Challenge, I’ll be posting two poems a day, one written by me and another poem written by one of my favourite poets. The title or first word of both poems will begin with the corresponding letter in the Blogging Challenge.
Today I offer you, To My Dear and Loving Husband by Anne Bradstreet.
If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee;
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me ye women if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold,
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee give recompense.
Thy love is such I can no way repay;
The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.
Then while we live, in love let’s so persever,
That when we live no more we may live ever.
I’ve always felt Anne Bradstreet, 1612 – 1672, probably the first published poet, writing in English, who lived in the American colonies, has been largely undervalued and even ignored in literary histories.
This is one of her loveliest poems, which takes the form of rhyming couplets, neatly representing the married couple’s love and symbiosis right from the first two lines by rhyming ‘we’ with ‘thee’.
The poem has many modern aspects. For example, their love comes across as a joint endeavour, in which neither are subservient and each have their role. The idea that money isn’t everything and it can never replace love and happiness is refreshing and shared by most 21st century citizens. I think it’s amazing that it was written 400 years ago. Priceless.
For my own poem, today I’ve also added a third challenge, Carrot Ranch, weekly Flash Fiction Challenge based on a 99 word prompt. My contribution to this Flash fiction challenge, organised by the wonderfully supportive and inspiring Charli Mills. is based on today’s prompt, the creation myth, which in my case, also deals with ‘husbands’.
A lighthearted look at creation and the roles assigned to men and women, or husbands and wives. Sadly, not a lot has changed since ‘Adam and Eve’. ‘Eve’s Husband’, by Luccia Gray.
God created Adam, first,
‘Twas Eve’s fault that they were cursed.
Her search for knowledge paid the price
Of ousting them from paradise.
Adam did as he was told,
While Eve, she was very bold.
The husband obedient and good,
The wife complained as ever she could.
Man acted like a demigod,
Made in likeness to his only God.
While his wife was the family builder,
Her husband became the tribal leader,
Pillaging the earth and devastating
What God took six days in creating.
In spite of this some still believe
It’s women’s fault that man doth grieve.
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