• Poetry

    Phillis Wheatley, African American Poet

    Several years ago in a¬†biography of preacher and evangelist Jonathan Edwards, I read the name of¬† “slave poet” Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784). Wheatley wrote an elegy (poem on the occasion of one’s death) for George Whitefield, one of Jonathan Edwards’ dear friends. Whitefield and Edwards were pillars of the Great Awakening that swept the world from England to the United States in the 1700’s and Wheatley had been greatly affected by the move of God in her own life. In fact, much of her strong Christian faith shows up in her poems, which I soon found out when I went looking. What’s astonishing to me is the language and voice of…