Puritan Poetry Assignment

One of the assessments I often use in my Early American history class is to ask students to write a short poem in the Puritan tradition. I know that when they first encounter the assignment, that students tend to react with fear and loathing. However, I ask them to please remember that:

  • This is not a creative writing class.
  • This assignment is meant to be fun.

Because Puritans wrote about their lives, I say they should, too. So I tell them not to hesitate to glorify their microwaves.

Please Note: Students are writing in the mindset of the Puritans. Therefore, their poems do not necessarily reflect their own spiritual beliefs.


—Steven L. Berg, PhD



Title page of second edition of Anne Bradstreet's poems which was published in 1678.