APRIL IS NATIONAL POETRY MONTH!
A renowned poet. The first black woman to publish a book in ameriKKKa. Her poems have appeared in numerous newspapers.
Born in west Africa, kidnapped as a child, and sold to the Wheatley family. Named after the slave ship that transported her to Boston. Phillis Wheatley would become a pioneer African American Poet.
Tutored by the Wheatley children, Phillis would excel in her studies. By the age of 12, Phillis Wheatley mastered English, Greek, and the Latin language. Read difficult bible passages. Two years later, she would write her first poem entitled “To the University of Cambridge, in New England.” The world marveled at her brilliance. In 1773, Phillis Wheatley's first volume of poetry was published in London. Shortly after, she was emancipated.
Without further ado, I present Phillis Wheatley
O thou bright jewel in my aim I strive
To comprehend thee.
Thine own words declare
Wisdom is higher than a fool can reach.
I cease to wonder, and no more attempt
Thine height t’explore, or fathom thy profound.
But, O my soul, sink not into despair,
Virtue is near thee, and with gentle hand
Would now embrace thee, hovers o’er thine head.
Fain would the heaven-born soul with her converse,
Then seek, then court her for her promised bliss.
Auspicious queen, thine heavenly pinions spread,
And lead celestial Chasity along;
Lo! now her sacred retinue descends,
Arrayed in glory from the orbs above.
Attend me, Virtue, thro’ my youthful years!
O leave me not to the false joys of time!
But guide my steps to endless life and bliss.
Greatness, or Goodness, say what I shall call thee,
To give an higher appellation still,
Teach me a better strain, a nobler lay,
O Thou, enthroned with Cherubs in the realms of day!
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