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Live Like You're Dying

posted Jan 19, 2011 05:27:19 by JessicaPhelps2192
At the age of seven, most people are starting first grade and learning how to tie their shoes, color in between the lines, or read small sentences. I could not imagine having it any other way. The character in this poem, however, was sold into slavery at the age of seven. Sadly, she didn’t get to go to first grade. Instead, she had to write poems about slavery that was published in local newspapers. The author’s tone in this poem is surprisingly the complete opposite of depressing. This girl is living the worst of the worst at the very bottom of the chain, a slave, and she is still writing positively. She writes like she understands the horrible things that are happening and she accepts them. The author says, “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: (1-3). Mainly, she states that she understands that she was taken from her homeland, but she is okay with it. She knows there is a God, a Saviour, which will save her and help her get on the right path. I believe the non-slaves were very shocked reading her poems. She wasn’t writing about all the miserable things slaves have to do and the conditions they live in. She wrote about keeping her head up and patiently waiting to find the light at the end of the tunnel. The non-slaves probably enjoyed reading her poems, considering the poems gained popularity. The readers felt it was a surprisingly good change.
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5 replies
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NatalieAldean23 said Jan 19, 2011 16:05:41
Jessica Phelps I agree that the non-slaves agreed with reading her poems. These poems did gain popularity so it means that many people did like her things. These people know that God is a savior and he will help show her the way. The non-slaves were surprised to know that the woman did not care that she was a slave. They were surprised to find out that she was just looking to the future and she did not care about the present.
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festivalfoods said Jan 19, 2011 16:17:29
Excellent job! I feel like many people could relate to this poem and your response to this poem. People don't understand how slaves were treated completely differently than whites in the earlier days. But when she wrote this poem people were shocked. How so? can you maybe show more detail of peoples reactions. Who understands this girl when she talks to people about her life?
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ilovekatelynn said Jan 20, 2011 15:49:51
I agree with you Jessica Phelps. It makes me kind of sad though because like you said this little girl never got to go to school like normal seven year olds and through all of those hard times she had to face the little girl remained positive and shared her experiences with her poems. Even though most people were not as positive about their situation they read her poems and they probably helped them just like it helped her to write them.
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Dekeyser15 said Jan 20, 2011 16:19:52
This is very interesting. When I first read this poem and looked at the meanings of some of the words, I thought that she was very angry and upset. I looked at it as if she wanted redemption on the people that made her a slave because of the things that they said and did that she described in the poem. The way that you portrayed the tone of the poem would never have occurred to me. Even the other replies agree that she had a surprisingly positive tone and that she accepted the changes they made her do. I guess in a way I can see how this could be. Maybe she was happy to be introduced to a God and knew that she would be alright in the end.
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katelynnthewonderful said Jan 20, 2011 16:26:07
I really liked the point you brought out by saying her tone is opposite of depressing. I never looked at the poem in that way. I would have expected her or anyone to be depressed because of her situation. But instead, she rises above it and writes a poem not showing her sadness but showing facts. She knows that she was taken from her home but she keeps her faith when she says, “That there’s a God, that there’s a Saviour too” (3)
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