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Quotes

Quote #1

At thy return my blushing was not small,
My rambling brat (in print) should mother call. (7-8)

Something about having her motherhood made public doesn’t jive with the speaker. It’s like she wants to keep the book’s origins a secret, which makes us think of it as a baby born out of wedlock or something.

Quote #2

I cast thee by as one unfit for light,
The visage was so irksome in my sight, (9-10)

Our usual image of warm and nurturing motherhood is totally shattered here as the speaker rejects her “child.” This is pretty mean, but maybe it’s also some tough love. Or even a rejection of the role of motherhood she’s expected to play.

Quote #3

In better dress to trim thee was my mind,
But nought save home-spun cloth, i' th' house I find. (17-18)

These lines contain a very clever little reference. “Home-spun cloth,” eh? That there is a not-so-subtle reminder of the kinds of work women were expected to do long ago. In other words, they weren’t expected to be writing poetry.

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