What Is the Tone in the Poem “Huswifery”?
In the poem “Huswifery,” poet Edward Taylor carries through a tone of acceptance and hope. According to Georgetown University contributing editor Karen E. Rowe, the poem’s speaker expects God to use him for a holy purpose and to clothe him in “robes of glory.”
In “Huswifery,” Taylor uses the extended metaphor of conceit. The speaker compares himself to wool being made into majestic robes by God. According to Rowe, throughout the poem the speaker experiences a period of refinement as God “purifies” him. The speaker makes God the center of his life so that he may be used for God’s will.
The tone of the poem shows the speaker’s acceptance for this use. It also shows the speaker’s hope that eventually God will cloak him in “robes of glory.” According to the Poetry Foundation, the opening stanza starts with a prayerful tone as the speaker prays to the “Master Weaver,” or God.
Throughout the poem, each part of the spinning wheel gets equated with some aspect of spiritual life. Eventually the poem progresses to the loom. As the Poetry Foundation explains, the speaker starts accepting the role he feels God has given him.
In the final stanza, the speaker asks God to clothe him in robes made from the spun and woven cloth of the previous stanzas. The tone becomes hopeful, as the speaker hopes to give God glory in return.