John Hatcher: On "A Letter from Phyllis Wheatley"

The poem which Hayden described as a ‘psychogram,’ is an epistolary form of a dramatic monologue in which the former slave writes to her friend Obour during a visit to London in 1773. With wry humor she relates her encounter with a young chimney-sweep who, observing her dark skin, asks, 'Does you, M’lady, sweep chimneys too?' She also notes the hissing scorn of 'would-be Wits' who 'murmur of the Yankee Pedlar/ and his Cannibal Mockingbird', a phenomenon she refers to as the 'Serpent' in idyllic England's Eden.


Title John Hatcher: On "A Letter from Phyllis Wheatley" Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author John Hatcher Criticism Target Robert Hayden
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 14 Jun 2020
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication From the Auroral Darkness: The Life and Poetry of Robert Hayden
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