Puritanism, begun in England in the 17th century, was a radical Protestant movement to reform the Church of England. The idea of a Puritan poet may seem a bit of a contradiction as Puritans disagreed with the practice of using metaphor and verbal flourishes in speech and writing. The Puritan movement was one for very literal expression and teaching. But, over time, some room for creative expression arose and Puritan poets such as John Milton, Anne Bradstreet, Edward Taylor and John Dryden produced some of the greatest verse of their age.
The poet in puritan age :-
John Milton (1608 to 1674), most famous for his epic poem "Paradise Lost" in 1667, was an English poet with religious beliefs emphasizing central Puritanical views. While the work acted as an expression of his despair over the failure of the Puritan Revolution against the English Catholic Church, it also indicated his optimism in human potential. A sequel entitled "Paradise Regained" was published in 1671. Other notable published works by Milton include, "On Shakespeare" (1630), "Comus" (1637), "Lycidas" (1638) and the tragedy, "Samson Agonistes" (1671).
Anne Bradstreet (approximately 1612 to 1672), considered by many scholars to be the first American poet, emigrated to Salem, Massachusetts in 1630. She had no formal education but had constant tutoring provided by her father. Her book of collected poems, "The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up In America" (1650), was the first published work by a woman in America and England.
Edward Taylor (approximately 1642 to 1729) emigrated to America in 1662 in defiance of the restoration of the English Monarchy. A Harvard-educated minister, Taylor did not write his poems for publication but as a private act to prepare for each holy communion. His poems were not discovered until the early 20th century; they were published in 1937. His most famous work, "Preparatory Meditations Before My Approach to the Lord's Supper," was a collection of personal thoughts and insights he gained while writing sermons. He is considered by many to be the greatest of the Puritan poets.
John Dryden (1631 to 1700) was a highly influential English poet during the Restoration period in England. His first published poem, "Heroique Stanzas" (1658), was the eulogy for the Lord Protector of England, Oliver Cromwell. His poems often contained factual information and sought to express his thoughts in a precise way. His other published poems include: "Hidden Flame," "Mac Flecknoe," "One Happy Moment," "A Song for St. Cecelia's Day," "Song for Amphitryon," "Song to a Fair Young Lady, Going Out of the Town in the Spring" and "To the Memory of Mr. Oldham."
- Richard Baxter
- Anne Bradstreet
- Samuel Danforth
- Morgan Llwyd
- Andrew Marvell
- John Milton
- Robert Overton
- Edward Taylor
- Michael Wigglesworth
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