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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