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The Author to Her Book

The Author to Her Book


by Anne Bradstreet

The Author to Her Book Theme of Literature and Writing

In “The Author to Her Book,” we have a poem that has the words “author” and “book” in the title, so no question: literature and writing is this poem’s biggest concern. Yep, this poem is all about one artist’s feelings toward her book. And those feelings are no good; she doesn’t like the book, she looks at it like some deformed child for whom there is, quite simply, no hope. Hmm, well that sounds kind of mean. Oh, and it gets better. Despite the fact that she can’t clean the dirty off this “kid’s” face, or fix any of his faults, she decides to sell him, because, well, she’s poor. Don’t fret too much, though. This is all very figurative and is meant to reflect the feelings of an insecure artist.

Questions About Literature and Writing

  1. How does the speaker feel about being a writer? Does she love it, hate it? How do you know?
  2. Are your feelings toward your own writing at all similar to the speaker’s? If so, how? If not, why not?
  3. Why did this speaker write a book anyway? Does she give us any clues?
  4. If writing is so tough, and so frustrating, why do it anyway? How would the speaker answer that question?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Money, money, money. It’s nice to pretend poetry has nothing to do with business, but, sadly, it does. The speaker, for example, must sell a book she’s not happy with because she’s poor.

Writing is really, really tough. How tough is it? It’s as tough as giving birth to, or raising, a child. Now that’s tough.

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