Monday, January 9, 2006

The pain of Fredrick Douglass

This was in my book, too, written while I was taking a class on African American literature:

Fredrick douglass writes about the unfortunate and sad situation of his grandmother, who is "put out to die" and spends her remaining days in loneliness. He describes how he imagines she must have felt through a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier, the "slave's poet":

From The Farewell
Gone, gone, sold and gone
To the rice swamp dank and lone,
Where the slave-whip ceaseless swings,
Where the noisome insect stings,
Where the fever-demon strews
Poison with the falling dews,
Where the sickly sunbeams glare
Through the hot and misty air:--

Gone, gone, sold and gone
To the rice swamp dank and lone,
From Virginia hills and waters--
Woe is me, my stolen daughters!

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