©2024 Fable Group Inc.
2.5 

Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral

By Phillis Wheatley
Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral by Phillis Wheatley digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral was the first book of poetry ever published by an African-American author. Phillis Wheatley’s deep familiarity with Latin literature and Christianity, combined with her African ancestry, provided her with a unique and inimitable view of poetry.

She was kidnapped and brought over to America on a ship called The Phillis after which she was named. Her interest in poetry and literature was recognized by the Wheatley family who, though keeping her enslaved, provided her with classic works of literature by authors such as Virgil, Homer, Terence, and Pope, all of whom had a significant influence on her work.

She received praise from many of her contemporaries including George Washington, John Hancock, and Voltaire. Shortly after publishing her collection of poetry she was emancipated by the Wheatley family. Even so, her life ended in poverty and obscurity.

Though her influence on poetry and African-American literature is indisputable, more modern critics of her work point to the lack of censure of slavery and the absence of discussion about the lives of black people in the United States as an example of the Uncle Tom syndrome.

Download the free Fable app

app book lists

Stay organized

Keep track of what you’re reading, what you’ve finished, and what’s next.
app book recommendations

Build a better TBR

Swipe, skip, and save with our smart list-building tool
app book reviews

Rate and review

Share your take with other readers with half stars, emojis, and tags
app comments

Curate your feed

Meet readers like you in the Fable For You feed, designed to build bookish communities
app book lists

Stay organized

Keep track of what you’re reading, what you’ve finished, and what’s next.
app book recommendations

Build a better TBR

Swipe, skip, and save with our smart list-building tool
app book reviews

Rate and review

Share your take with other readers with half stars, emojis, and tags
app comments

Curate your feed

Meet readers like you in the Fable For You feed, designed to build bookish communities

5 Reviews

2.5
Thumbs Up“im very new to poetry, so I don’t know how much you should let my review determine whether you read this or not. none of these poems were dull, but lots were lengthy and i felt they could have been shorter. i connected with the poems about grief the most, and the ones about the death of young children were really nice to read. i enjoyed how she was just saying (to the parents a lot) your child is okay, they’re at peace 🤎 overall nice, I’d recommend this to anyone who’s interested in Wheatley’s work or just wants to get into reading poetry 🤍”
Original writingRealistic setting
Thumbs Up“Very new to poetry so I don’t know if you ,reader, should trust my review. I enjoyed the pacing and the flow each line felt good to say out loud. I think the only thing that might have made it less than perfect for me was the length, for many felt to long. I enjoyed her perspective on grief, it didn’t feel like something you see often today.”
Realistic settingFeel good
“- Overall, this is a very Christian poetry collection, not what I'm particularly fond of. - Unlike what people and academics have said, I thought the poet didn't really discuss her African heritage that much. When she does, sometimes she says: 'I, young in life, by seeming cruel fate Was snatched from Afric's fancied happy seat' (From "To the right honourable William, earl of Dartmouth"); and other times she writes: 'Twas not long since I left my native shore The land of errors [...] Father of mercy, t'was thy gracious hand Brought me in safety from those dark abodes'. (From "To the University of Cambridge, in New-England"). - Most of her poems were about reassuring a person who had lost a loved one, writing things such as: 'Why then, fond parents, why these fruitless groans? Restrain your tears, and cease your plaintive moans. Freed from a world of sin, and snares, and pain, Why would you wish your daughter back again? [...] Adore the God who gives and takes away; Eye him in all, his holy name revere,' (From "On the death of a young lady of five years of age."), which... I'm not sure how reassuring that can be. - She had a great use of rhymes and rhythm but some poems were so long and became repetitive. - Nonetheless, this poetry collection is an interesting classic which should be talked about more when studying classic literature, American lit/poetry, African-American lit/poetry (which wasn't the case during my degree in English-speaking lit), as Phillis Wheatley is the first African American poet to publish a poetry collection.”

About Phillis Wheatley

Phillis Wheatley Peters, also spelled Phyllis and Wheatly (c. 1753 – December 5, 1784) was an American author who was the first African-American author of a published book of poetry. Born in West Africa, she was sold into slavery at the age of seven or eight and transported to North America, where she was bought by the Wheatley family of Boston. After she learned to read and write, they encouraged her poetry when they saw her talent.

Start a Book Club

Start a public or private book club with this book on the Fable app today!

FAQ

Do I have to buy the ebook to participate in a book club?

Why can’t I buy the ebook on the app?

How is Fable’s reader different from Kindle?

Do you sell physical books too?

Are book clubs free to join on Fable?

How do I start a book club with this book on Fable?

Error Icon
Save to a list
0
/
30
0
/
100
Private List
Private lists are not visible to other Fable users on your public profile.
Notification Icon
Fable uses the TMDB API but is not endorsed or certified by TMDB