In the poem, To the University of Cambridge, New England, the author Phillis Wheatley, makes crucial arguments about her life as a slave and being free. In her poem she is preaching to the graduating students about their journey through life. She advises them to take every opportunity that lies in front of them, no matter the risk. In essence, as it appears on stage, a former slave is talking to an honored graduating class but it is what she says that created so much significance. All three stanzas have important messages that not only tell a story to each individual, but encourage students to pursue their dreams.
In the first stanza the reader has the sense that Wheatley was internally forced to write this speech. As she wrote, “While an intrinsic ardor prompts to write/ The muses promise to assist my pen;” (Lines 1-2) one can tell that she does not necessarily want to speak, but the “muses” or gods encourage her to voice her story. As a former slave, an opportunity to speak in front of a prestigious college very rarely comes along so as the rest of her poem directs, she took advantage of this once in a life time opportunity. Phillis Wheatly does not try to hide the fact that she was a slave or conceal where she is from but she does point out that living in America was the best thing that has happened to her. As she states, “Father of mercy, ‘twas thy gracious hand/ Brought me in safety from those dark abodes,” (Lines 4-5). This quote is very important to understand because slaves were stereotypically known for hating America and especially the people that brought them here. Instead, Phillis is thanking her owner and those that brought her to the land of endless opportunities.
In the second stanza, Wheatly enunciates that these students have merely begun their journey; that college is purely the beginning of what should be a long, successful future. She preaches to them that they are merely the start of exploration:
“And mark the systems of revolving...