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Analysis


Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

We mentioned it earlier, but we'll give you the lowdown now. "On Being Brought" is written in heroic couplets. They were the in-thing for all the poets back in Wheatley's day. Basically, she rhymed...

Speaker

The speaker of "On Being Brought from Africa to America" is probably a woman, although we never know either way. We can never assume the speaker is the same person as the poet, but since the title...

Setting

The title gives it all away: the poem takes place in America, right? It also tells us what setting we've left behind. The speaker references her homeland (Africa), but we know she left. As for the...

Sound Check

Remember playing on monkey bars during recess? Swinging back and forth while using your hands to grab hold of the next metal bar to keep you from falling? How each of the bars was evenly spaced apa...

What's Up With the Title?

As a title, "On Being Brought from Africa to America" is about as straightforward as you can get. This poem must be about the speaker's thoughts about being brought as a slave from Africa (West Afr...

Calling Card

Wheatley knew her stuff, and her stuff was rooted in the poetic tradition of Latin and Greek. She imitated the Neo-classic style of poetry, which often used heroic couplets. "On Being Brought from...

Tough-o-Meter

This is a short climb—eight lines—and the landscape rhymes. Alright, enough of that, but this short poem packs a lot of beauty and technical skill that may need you to slow down and take it all...

Trivia

Not only did Phillis Wheatley write amazing, super-awesome-to-the-max poems, but she was the first African-American to publish a book. Check it out here. (Source.) Don't like your name? Phillis Whe...

Steaminess Rating

Not only was this poem written in the late 1700s, when super-sexy poetry wouldn't fly with editors or the public, but the author of this poem is a converted Christian and the title of her first col...

Allusions

Cain (7)
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