Presentation on theme: "WHAT WOULD YOU SAY… About the poet who wrote these lines? Celestial choir! enthron'd in realms of light, Columbia's scenes of glorious toils I write. While."— Presentation transcript:
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY… About the poet who wrote these lines? Celestial choir! enthron'd in realms of light, Columbia's scenes of glorious toils I write. While freedom's cause her anxious breast alarms, She flashes dreadful in refulgent arms.
WOULD YOU SAY?? That the poets original writings recently sold for over $120,000? That the poet wrote for and presented poetry for dignitaries including the first president, George Washington? That the poet was considered privileged among her people? That the poet was an African slave sold in Boston Harbor in 1761?
THE TRUTH IS… The poet, Phillis Wheatley was all these things! An original letter of Wheatley’s did sell in a New York City Auction for $120,000 Phillis Wheatley was an African slave, born in the West African nation of Senegal and purchased by John Wheatley in Boston in 1761 She was considered “privileged” for slaves of her time She did present poetry for dignitaries
A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY ON PHILLIS WHEATLEY Born in 1753 in Senegal When she was 7 years old, John Wheatley purchased her in Boston; she was to be the personal servant to his wife The Wheatley’s educated her, a privilege unusual for a slave She quickly mastered English and went on to learn Greek and Latin She alluded Boston scholars by translating the classic, Ovid Her style was influenced by neoclassical writers, including Alexander Pope
TODAY She is still considered an influential African poet It is debated how much her poetic “voice” demonstrates the African experience She is celebrated But some debate whether she accurately represents the voice of an African slave in the 18 th century
AS YOU READ Examine her language Examine her use of allusion and imagery Examine her choice of topics Determine whether you think she accurately represents the voice of a slave
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