The Quaternion Poetry of Anne Bradstreet

The former four now ending their discourse,
Ceasing to vaunt their good, or threat their force.
Lo other four step up, crave leave to show
The native qualityes that from them flow:
But first they wisely shew’d their high descent,
Each eldest daughter to each Element.

— From The Four Humours in Man’s Constitution, by Anne Bradstreet

As a young puritan poet, Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672) wrote several poems in fourfold arrangements, dealing with fourfold topics, she called Quaternions.

    • Four Elements
    • Four Seasons
    • Four Humours
    • Four Life Ages

She later added another to her oeuvre, writing one dealing with Monarchies or Empires.

Further Reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Bradstreet

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quaternion_(poetry)

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/anne-bradstreet

https://reslater.blogspot.com/2013/02/anne-bradstreet-four-humours-in-mans.html

Anne Hildebrand / Anne Bradstreet’s Quaternions and “Contemplations”, Early American Literature, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Fall, 1973), pp. 117-125 (9 pages)
https://www.jstor.org/stable/25070614

Jane Donahue Eberwein / The “Unrefined Ore” of Anne Bradstreet’s Quaternions, Early American Literature, Vol. 9, No. 1 (Spring, 1974), pp. 19-26 (8 pages)
https://www.jstor.org/stable/25070645

Jane D. Eberwein / Civil War and Bradstreet’s “Monarchies”, Early American Literature, Vol. 26, No. 2 (1991), pp. 119-144 (26 pages)
https://www.jstor.org/stable/25056854

https://web.archive.org/web/20110708061310/http://quaternionpoetry.blogspot.com/

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