Anna Laetitia Barbauld

Barbauld’s poems captured my interest far more than Jones’s did, no doubt because she was a woman I was fascinated as to what she had to say, or how the two would compare. My two favorite poems we read/discussed were “Washing Day” and “The Mouse’s Petition.” I thought the former was interesting, as she uses ordinary language to speak on what seems an ordinary task. Wordsworth argued that poets should write for everyday people, not only the elite, and Barbauld is doing so years before. Her audience were everyday people, as she was trying to perhaps appeal to masses who would agree with her on certain injustices. “The Mouse’s Petition” is a prime example of this. It reads almost like a children’s story, but it speaks to real injustices in the world. It connects all living things and articulates freedom and liberty in a unique way that doesn’t sound as if it’s scolding or preaching because it could be read as if it’s only about a mouse.

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