Phillis Wheatley, a prodigious African American poet born in Senegal and enslaved in Boston, Massachusetts, defied societal norms to become one of the earliest voices of African American literature. Her powerful verses, often addressing themes of faith, freedom, and human dignity, challenged the prevailing prejudices of her time. In this article, we present a compilation of the top 10 Phillis Wheatley quotes that showcase her eloquence, resilience, and enduring legacy as a trailblazer in American literature.
Top 10 Phillis Wheatley Quotes
In every human Breast, God has implanted a Principle, which we call Love of Freedom; it is impatient of Oppression, and pants for Deliverance.
In these lines, Wheatley eloquently expresses the innate human desire for freedom and justice.
Imagination! who can sing thy force? / Or who describe the swiftness of thy course?
Wheatley’s words celebrate the boundless power of imagination and its creative force.
Some view our sable race with scornful eye, / ‘Their colour is a diabolic die.’
In this quote, Wheatley addresses racial prejudice and the unjust judgments placed upon people of color.
When I view my spacious soul, / And survey myself a whole, / And enjoy myself alone—
Wheatley’s lines delve into introspection and the contemplation of self.
Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land, / Taught my benighted soul to understand / That there’s a God, that there’s a Saviour too.
In these verses, Wheatley reflects on her journey from her homeland and her embrace of Christianity.
Should you, my lord, while you peruse my song, / Wonder from whence my love of Freedom sprung, / Whence flow these wishes for the common good?
Wheatley’s quote reflects her gratitude for her own freedom and her desire for the freedom of others.
Now let us leave this anxious world below, / Let’s leave the brooklet’s melancholy song.
In this quote, Wheatley evokes a sense of escaping the troubles of the world.
The things unknown proposed as things forgot.
Wheatley’s words offer a concise reflection on the mysteries of forgotten knowledge.
In Heaven, the land of Love, there’s no alloy.
In these lines, Wheatley speaks of the purity and perfection of love in heaven.
While an intrinsic ardour prompts to write, / The muses promise to assist my pen.
Wheatley’s quote alludes to her inspiration and the support she receives from the muses.
In conclusion, Phillis Wheatley’s quotes illuminate her remarkable ability to navigate complex themes, challenge societal norms, and express her unique perspective as an enslaved African American woman. Her literary contributions paved the way for future generations of African American writers and poets, establishing her as a trailblazer in American literature. Wheatley’s quotes stand as a testament to her unwavering spirit, her courage to address social injustice, and her eloquent portrayal of the human experience. Her legacy continues to inspire and remind us of the enduring power of words to shape narratives and bring about positive change.