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To My Dear and Loving Husband
To My Dear and Loving Husband
by Anne Bradstreet

To My Dear and Loving Husband Theme of Death

Wait, what? Okay, so there's no actual death in "To My Dear and Loving Husband," but he's there nonetheless. In the last lines of the poem, for example, the speaker talks about how the love between her and her husband might allow them to live forever, thereby cheating death. At another point in the poem, the speaker describes her love as undying, because no river can "quench" it, or stop it. So what's up with all this death in a love poem? In some ways, it seems as if the two go hand in hand.

Questions About Death

  1. How does this poem suggest that one can cheat death?
  2. Is the speaker a little weird to think she can live forever through love?     
  3. Why does the speaker even need to talk about death in the last line?           
  4. Does death sound like a bad thing in this poem? Or could it be considered good because it brings the speaker and her husband to eternal life together?

Chew on This

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

The poem's last word is also the same as the second word in each of the first three lines ("ever"), which makes the poem seem like a circle. Like love, the poem has no beginning and no end – it just goes on forever.

Death is not always a bad thing. The poem argues that death is the beginning of something much greater, a life after death with loved ones.

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