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Flesh and the Spirit, The Analysis

Author: Poetry of Anne Bradstreet Type: Poetry Views: 1889

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In secret place where once I stood
Close by the Banks of Lacrim flood,
I heard two sisters reason on
Things that are past and things to come.
One Flesh was call'd, who had her eye
On worldly wealth and vanity;
The other Spirit, who did rear
Her thoughts unto a higher sphere.
"Sister," quoth Flesh, "what liv'st thou on
Nothing but Meditation?
Doth Contemplation feed thee so
Regardlessly to let earth go?
Can Speculation satisfy
Notion without Reality?
Dost dream of things beyond the Moon
And dost thou hope to dwell there soon?
Hast treasures there laid up in store
That all in th' world thou count'st but poor?
Art fancy-sick or turn'd a Sot
To catch at shadows which are not?
Come, come. I'll show unto thy sense,
Industry hath its recompence.
What canst desire, but thou maist see
True substance in variety?
Dost honour like? Acquire the same,
As some to their immortal fame;
And trophies to thy name erect
Which wearing time shall ne'er deject.
For riches dost thou long full sore?
Behold enough of precious store.
Earth hath more silver, pearls, and gold
Than eyes can see or hands can hold.
Affects thou pleasure? Take thy fill.
Earth hath enough of what you will.
Then let not go what thou maist find
For things unknown only in mind."


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

This poem refers to the struggles between the need or want for worldly possessions and the quest for God\'s graces. The title of the poem says it all. Flesh is the worldly, tangible temptations and Spirit is the unseen power and riches that await in the after life. Within the poem there is a stark contrast between the two sisters, although they are born of the same father (potentially an allusion to Arch Angel Micheal and Lucifer the light bringer)the hold vastly different views of the state of their souls. For one, Flesh only sees what is right in front of her while Soul transcends that and looks towards a higher power, believing her riches will be in heaven. One thing that sticks out to me is that again instead of using men as the main characters she uses women. By doing this she make the men happy by showing them women\'s weaknesses with Flesh at the helm but, she also shows the power of women with Soul\'s journey to something higher.

| Posted on 2013-01-24 | by a guest

.: :.

This poem "The Flesh and the Spirit," really touches on life in the spirit and flesh. It may move you in different ways and the way you should go .to Heaven....

| Posted on 2009-08-28 | by a guest

.: :.

It shows the sturggle in life is rewarded in death. After the struggle on Earth, you are rewarded in heaven later on. It's worth it.

| Posted on 2008-10-02 | by a guest

.: isnt the whole poem... :.

Yeah... this isn't the whole poem. You're missing about 3/4 of it. I don't know if this is because this is just a sample of it or not, but you should at least realize this fact. I suggest posting the entire poem, it can easily be found on other websites.

The rest of the poem continues to go on and explain Spirit's reply to Flesh's conquest. It is really the most moving part of the poem, so I suggest that you find it. Really, it looks stupid when you say this is the poem "The Flesh and The Spirit" when it is only 3/4 of "The Flesh and the Spirit"... How can anyone correctly analyze a poem that they have not entirely read? And like I said before, the most moving part occurs in the rest of the 3/4, so I suggest you post it.

| Posted on 2004-12-05 | by Approved Guest

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