What Is the Meaning of the Poem “Huswifery”?
The meaning of the poem “Huswifery” depicts the desires of Edward Taylor to be closer to God while doing everything that is pleasing to the Puritan religion. The name of the poem is based off of the daily tasks that were expected of Puritan housewives, like spinning and weaving.
In the poem, Taylor describes himself similar to the wheel that is used for spinning and weaving. Each part of his spiritual life is described as one of the parts of the spinning wheel. The distaff is compared to the word of God; it is a piece of equipment on the machine that holds the wool and prepares it to be spun. The emotions that are felt in spiritual life are compared to the “flyers” on the wheel that change the raw material into thread. The soul of the speaker is compared to the spool where the thread is wound. The word of God turns the speaker into a piece of whole cloth, similar to the way that the loom turns threads into a piece of fabric. Perhaps the most influential comparison in the poem is the creator of both the thread and the blanket that was created by the loom; God is compared to this creator.