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Fire and Faith

             It is evident that Phyllis Wheatley has a fire to write and express herself through her poetry, and seeks guidance and redemption through her faith.
             The nature in which Phyllis Wheatley became a renowned poet is beneficial to know when reading her poetry. Because the Bible was probably the first book Phyllis encountered, it is no surprise that her faith in God is relished throughout her writings in Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral by Phyllis Wheatley, Negro Servant to Mr. John Wheatley, of Boston, in New England. The biography of Phyllis Wheatley says, "Responding to early indications of intellectual precociousness in Phyllis, the Wheatley family encouraged her to study the Bible and to read English and Latin literature, history, and geography." The poem On Imagination displays Phyllis's faith in God. Line 31-34 reads: "For favours past, great Sir, our thanks are due, and thee we ask thy favours to renew, since in thy pow"r, as in thy will before, to soothe the griefs, which thou did'st once deplore." Another example in lines12-14 in To the University of Cambridge in New-England reads: " How Jesus" blood for your redemption flows. See him with hands out-stretcht upon the cross: Immense compassion in his bosom glows- Phyllis" faith is flagrant when reading such poems as the latter. It seems as though Phyllis's masters were supportive in her writings, and she continued to encompass a fire for writing poetry. She was allowed through Master John Wheatley to publicize an elegy on the death of a popular Methodist evangelist, in which she gained her first fame as a poet. She later went on to publish her poems in England, and was also baptized during her stay. Many of her poems show that she has a desire to write in elegant style, as did the Greek poet Virgil. For instance, line 25 of To Maecenas, " soon the same beauties should my mind adorn, and the same ardors in my soul should burn: then should my song in bolder notes arise, and all my numbers pleasingly surprise- As these lines indicate, Phyllis had a passion to write well as a poet and surprise her white peers.

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