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Transcript of Free Labor
Written By: Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
Presented By: Kasey, Hannah, Billy, Dulio
I wear an easy garment,
o'er it no toiling slave
wept tears of hopeless anguish
in his passage to the grave
and from its ample folds
shall rise no cry to God,
upon its warp and wool shall be
no stain of tears and blood.
oh, lightly shall it press my form
unladen with a sigh,
i shall not 'mid it's rustling hear
some sad, despairing cry.
this fabric is too light to bear
the weight of bondsman's tears
I shall not in his texture trace
The agony of years.
To light to bear a smother'd sigh,
from some lorn women's heart,
whose only wreath of household love is rudely torn apart.
Then lightly shall it press my form
undurden'd by a sigh;
and from its seams and folds shall rise,no voice to peirce the sky
And witness at the throne of God,
in language deep and strong
that i have nerv'd Opression's hand, for deeps of guilt and wrong
Frances E.W. Harper was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1825. She was the daughter of two free African American parents, but her mother died when she was young, so she was raised by her aunt. In her early youth, and in 1845 she published her first collection of poetry entitled,"Forest Leaves". Although Harper is most known for her poetry, she was also an activist in the women's rights movement. In 1885 Harper became the first female African American writer to publish a short story entitled, "Two Offers". Frances E.W. Harper continued to publish poems and lead activist groups throughout her early life, but in 1860 she gave up her public life to spend time with her family. Harper gave birth to her daughter Mary in that time. Harper later died on February 22, 1911 due to heart failure, but her poetry continues to be appreciated to this day.
Born: September 1825
Died: February 22 1911
Birthplace: Baltimore, MD
Bestknown: she was an advocate of womens rights, temperance, and civil rights.
Frances Harper was was an African American abolitionist, poet and author. She was also active in social reform and was a member of women's temperance union. She had a long and prolific career. She began her career as a public speaker and political activist after joining the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1853.
Other Poem by F.E.W. Harper
stanza 1: She's going to be easy going about being a slave. She isn't going to cry about it.
stanza 2: She knows when she's with God it will all be okay. She wont shed a tear or have and stains of blood.
stanza 3: It's not pressing her hard, not even making a big sigh, she's not getting depressed.
stanza 4: She wears an easy garment meaning that she doesn't let things get to her. She shall not cry while she is a slave for many years.
stanza 5: the slave women will never be able to be a normal housewife.
stanza 6: the situation will press her lightly,she wont even sigh, silent in her work.
stanza 7: Through all of her hard work God will notice that she was strong about the situation and will not be proud of the slave owners.
OUT IN THE COLD
Out in the cold mid the dreary night,
Under the eaves of homes so bright:
Snowflakes falling o'er mother's grave
Will no one rescue, no one save?
A child left out in the dark and cold,
A lamb not sheltered in any fold,
Hearing the wolves of hunger bark,
Out in the cold! and out in the dark
Missing top;night the charming bliss,
That lies in the mother's good night kiss;
And hearing no loving father's prayer,
For blessings his children all may share.
Creeping away to some wretched den,
To sleep mid the curses of drunken men
And women, not as God has made,
Wrecked and ruined, wronged and betrayed.
Church of the Lord reach out thy arm,
And shield the hapless one from harm;
Where the waves of sin are dashing wild
Rescue and save the drifting child.
Wash from her life guilt's turbid foam,
In the fair haven of a home;
Tenderly lead the motherless girl
Up to the gates of purest pearl.
The wandering feet which else had strayed,
From thorny paths may yet be stayed;
And a crimson track through the cold dark night
May exchange to a line of loving light.
Significance of poem
The significance of the title of the poem is it shows them the difficulty of working in freedom as opposed to the toil an burden of slavery The voice is that of the freed slave, employ-ing his labor for his own sustenance and not for the leisure of a master who does not work himself.
Harper's poems vary, but usually her poems talk about the life of a slave. Both "Free Labor" ,and "Out In the Cold" talk about life of a slave. Different perspective, but same concept. Also, she used a rhyme scheme a lot.
"Intense love is often akin to intense suffering."
"No race can afford to neglect the enlightenment of its mothers."
"Every mother should endeavor to be a true artist."
uplifting and hopeful
Literary Elements In Poem
symbolism - "I wear an easy garment"
alliteration - "Upon its warp and woof shall be"
personification - "That I have nerv'd oppression's hand"