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Word Count: 3,231
The Prologue To sing of wars of captains and of kings Of cities founded commonwealth begun For my mean pen are too superior things Or how they all or each their dates have run Let poets and historians set these forth My obscure lines shall not so dim their worth Why does she seem to be putting down her own ability to write Mean humble and thin Why does she call these subjects of poetry superior things Do you think she personally finds them superior Why are they things obscure can mean inadequately provided with light not readily perceived remote from centres of human activity lacking showiness or consciousness unseen It often applies to communication with hidden or veiled meanings So what different things could she be saying about her poetry in contrast to that of men Remember that obscure can mean dim as well as block She seems to be playing with words and meanings here But when my wondring eyes and envious heart Great Bartas sugared lines do but read oer Fool I do grudge the Muses did not part Twixt him and me that overfluent store A Bartas can do what a Bartas will But simple I according to my skill Guilliame du Bartas 1544-1590 authored The Divine Weeks an epic poem on Christian history he was probably Bradstreets favourite male writer His poetry is rather elaborately ornamented with imagery and classical illusions not simple and straight-forward as her lines here are Who or what is the fool here Note that she has moved the word to the beginning of the line replacing an ordinarily unaccented syllable thus emphasizing it heavily What would be the normal sentence structure In other words it doesnt seem fair that she doesnt get half of his gifts After all the Muses ARE female From schoolboys tongue no rhetoric we expect Nor yet a sweet consort from broken strings Nor perfect beauty
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