She was thus part of the emerging dialogue of the new republic, and her poems to leading public figures in neoclassical couplets, the English version of the heroic meters of the ancient Greek poet Homer, were hailed as masterpieces. It is the racist posing as a Christian who has become diabolical. This line is meaningful to an Evangelical Christian because one's soul needs to be in a state of grace, or sanctified by Christ, upon leaving the earth. A single stanza of eight lines, with full rhyme and classic iambic pentameter beat, it basically says that black people can become Christian believers and in this respect are just the same as everyone else. On Being Brought From Africa to America is an unusual poem because it was written by a black woman who was a slave back in the days when black people could be bought and sold at will by white owners. Illustrated Works "On Being Brought from Africa to America" is a statement of pride and comfort in who she is, though she gives the credit to God for the blessing. Chosen by Him, the speaker is again thrust into the role of preacher, one with a mission to save others. The African-American’s place in society has been and still is a sensitive issue in America. West Africa In "On Being Brought from Africa to America," Wheatley identifies herself first and foremost as a Christian, rather than as African or American, and asserts everyone's equality in God's sight. This poem is a real-life account of Wheatley’s experiences. God punished him with the fugitive and vagabond and yieldless crop curse. Wheatley's revision of this myth possibly emerges in part as a result of her indicative use of italics, which equates Christians, Negros, and Cain (Levernier, "Wheatley's"); it is even more likely that this revisionary sense emerges as a result of the positioning of the comma after the word Negros. Rigsby, Gregory, "Form and Content in Phillis Wheatley's Elegies," in College Language Association Journal, Vol. Many of her elegies meditate on the soul in heaven, as she does briefly here in line 8. Specifically, Wheatley deftly manages two biblical allusions in her last line, both to Isaiah. "On Being Brought from Africa to America" is a poem written by Phillis Wheatley, published in her 1773 poetry collection "Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral." So many in the world do not know God or Christ. 3, 1974, pp. The Puritan attitude toward slaves was somewhat liberal, as slaves were considered part of the family and were often educated so that they could be converted to Christianity. In context, it seems she felt that slavery was immoral and that God would deliver her race in time. 1-13. She was instructed in Evangelical Christianity from her arrival and was a devout practicing Christian. Phillis Wheatley was abducted from her home in Africa at the age of 7 in 1753 and taken by ship to America, where she ended up as the property of one John Wheatley, of Boston. There was no precedent for it. Wheatley explains her humble origins in "On Being Brought from Africa to America" and then promptly turns around to exhort her audience to accept African equality in the realm of spiritual matters, and by implication, in intellectual matters (the poem being in the form of neoclassical couplets). “On Being Brought from Africa to America” 3 piece of textual evidence Don't use plagiarized sources. She did not know that she was in a sinful state. As cited by Robinson, he wonders, "What white person upon this continent has written more beautiful lines?". All the end-rhymes are full, for example: land/understand...Cain/train. Redemption in that, the subject is saved from her pagan way of life. At this point, the poem displaces its biblical legitimation by drawing attention to its own achievement, as inherent testimony to its argument. Her work may be an expression of her own experiences. The resulting verse sounds pompous and inauthentic to the modern ear, one of the problems that Wheatley has among modern audiences. 2013. Print. Wheatley may also cleverly suggest that the slaves' affliction includes their work in making dyes and in refining sugarcane (Levernier, "Wheatley's"), but in any event her biblical allusion subtly validates her argument against those individuals who attribute the notion of a "diabolic die" to Africans only. It is important for every person to read, know, and understand this poem. "Remember, Christians, Negros, black as Cain,May be refin'd, and join th' angelic train. The masters, on the other hand, claimed that the Bible recorded and condoned the practice of slavery. "On Being Brought from Africa to America" is a poem written by Phillis Wheatley, published in her 1773 poetry collection "Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral." In returning the reader circularly to the beginning of the poem, this word transforms its biblical authorization into a form of exemplary self-authorization. All in all a neat package of a poem that is memorable and serves a purpose. Although she was an enslaved person, Phillis Wheatley Peters was one of the best-known poets in pre-19th century America. In this sense, white and black people are utterly equal before God, whose authority transcends the paltry earthly authorities who have argued for the inequality of the two races.
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