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At barely 12 years of age, Wheatley was able to read literature written in different languages including Greek classics, Latin literature and the bible. She wrote her first poem at the age of 13. Among his first poems was a poem about Evangelist George Whitefield and his regrettable and untimely death. It was from her first poems that people recognized her incredible poetic skills. However, from most of her poems, she comes out as one of the poetesses with strong religious beliefs. This document seeks to explore four of her poems in terms of her religious beliefs.
On Being Brought from Africa to America is one of the most incredible poems that Wheatley wrote. The poem like many other poems depicts that Wheatley had strong religious belief. As one of those who were forcefully taken from their native lands to America as slave, one would expect her to be very upset. However, this poem reveals the opposite. For example, in the first line of the poem, she writes, “Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land” (McLendon 52). The mentioning of the word “Mercy” in this case has a religious meaning in that it took the hand of God that she was able to leave her native land as a slave to become a Christian in America. In fact, she goes ahead to acknowledge the existence of God and savior in line three when she says, That theres a God, that theres a Saviour too.
The last two lines of the poem also reveal certain aspect of her religious beliefs. In the last two lines, she writes, “Remember, Christians, Negros, black as Cain; May be refind, and join th angelic train” (McLendon 58). In these two lines, Wheatley is trying to evangelize to Americans that Africans also deserve being included in the Christian mainstream. In fact, she beliefs that no one is perfect before God. According to her, as much as Africans are not perfect, Christians too are not since they enslave innocent people.
Isaiah LXIII is another Wheatley’s classical poem that portrays a lot ...