Phillis Wheatley Essay - Phillis Wheatley Poetry: American Poets Analysis

Phillis Wheatley Poetry: American Poets Analysis

Beginning in the 1970’s, Phillis Wheatley began to receive the attention she deserves. George McMichael and others, editors of the influential two-volume Anthology of American Literature (1974, 1980), observe that she and Philip Freneau were “the most important poets” of America’s Revolutionary War era. To be sure, one of the major subjects of her poetry is the American struggle for independence. Temporal freedom is not her only subject, however; she is also much concerned with the quest for spiritual freedom. Consequently, the elegy, in which she celebrates the Christian rewards of eternal life and absolute freedom after death, is her favorite poetic form. In addition, she delights in describing God’s creation...

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