Native Guard

Native Guard Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry Natasha Trethewey s elegiac Native Guard is a deeply personal volume that brings together two legacies of the Deep South The title of the collection refer

  • Title: Native Guard
  • Author: Natasha Trethewey
  • ISBN: 9780547055480
  • Page: 212
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, Natasha Trethewey s elegiac Native Guard is a deeply personal volume that brings together two legacies of the Deep South.The title of the collection refers to the Mississippi Native Guards, a black regiment whose role in the Civil War has been largely overlooked by history As a child in Gulfport, Mississippi, in the 1960s, TWinner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, Natasha Trethewey s elegiac Native Guard is a deeply personal volume that brings together two legacies of the Deep South.The title of the collection refers to the Mississippi Native Guards, a black regiment whose role in the Civil War has been largely overlooked by history As a child in Gulfport, Mississippi, in the 1960s, Trethewey could gaze across the water to the fort on Ship Island where Confederate captives once were guarded by black soldiers serving the Union cause The racial legacy of the South touched Trethewey s life on a much immediate level, too Many of the poems in Native Guard pay loving tribute to her mother, whose marriage to a white man was illegal in her native Mississippi in the 1960s Years after her mother s tragic death, Trethewey reclaims her memory, just as she reclaims the voices of the black soldiers whose service has been all but forgotten.Included in this beautiful new edition of Native Guard is an audio CD of the poems read by the author a lovely gift for anyone who loves poetry that speaks to the heart and mind.

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    About "Natasha Trethewey"

    1. Natasha Trethewey

      Natasha Trethewey is an American poet who was appointed United States Poet Laureate in June 2012 she began her official duties in September She won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her 2006 collection Native Guard, and she is the Poet Laureate of Mississippi.She is the Robert W Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University, where she also directs the Creative Writing Program.Trethewey was born in Gulfport, Mississippi, on April 26, 1966, Confederate Memorial Day, to Eric Trethewey and Gwendolyn Ann Turnbough, who were married illegally at the time of her birth, a year before the U.S Supreme Court struck down anti miscegenation laws with Loving v Virginia Her birth certificate noted the race of her mother as colored , and the race of her father as Canadian.Trethewey s mother, a social worker, was part of the inspiration for Native Guard, which is dedicated to her memory Trethewey s parents divorced when she was young and Turnbough was murdered in 1985 by her second husband, whom she had recently divorced, when Trethewey was 19 years old Recalling her reaction to her mother s death, she said, that was the moment when I both felt that I would become a poet and then immediately afterward felt that I would not I turned to poetry to make sense of what had happened.Natasha Trethewey s father is also a poet he is a professor of English at Hollins University.Trethewey earned her B.A in English from the University of Georgia, an M.A in English and Creative Writing from Hollins University, and an M.F.A in poetry from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1995 In May 2010 Trethewey delivered the commencement speech at Hollins University and was awarded an honorary doctorate She had previously received an honorary degree from Delta State University in her native Mississippi.Structurally, her work combines free verse with structured, traditional forms like the sonnet and the villanelle Thematically, her work examines memory and the racial legacy of America Bellocq s Ophelia 2002 , for example, is a collection of poetry in the form of an epistolary novella it tells the fictional story a mixed race prostitute who was photographed by E J Bellocq in early 20th century New Orleans.The American Civil War makes frequent appearances in her work Born on Confederate Memorial Day exactly 100 years afterwards Trethewey explains that she could not have escaped learning about the Civil War and what it represented , and that it had fascinated her since childhood For example, Native Guard tells the story of the Louisiana Native Guards, an all black regiment in the Union Army, composed mainly of former slaves who enlisted, that guarded the Confederate prisoners of war.On June 7, 2012, James Billington, the Librarian of Congress, named her the 19th US Poet Laureate Billington said, after hearing her poetry at the National Book Festival, that he was immediately struck by a kind of classic quality with a richness and variety of structures with which she presents her poetry she intermixes her story with the historical story in a way that takes you deep into the human tragedy of it Newspapers noted that unlike most poets laureate, Trethewey is in the middle of her career She was also the first laureate to take up residence in Washington, D.C when she did so in January 2013 On May 14, 2014, Tretheway will de li ver her final lecture to conclude her second term as US Poet Laureate from

    993 thoughts on “Native Guard”

    1. Natasha Trethewey is the southern born daughter of an African American mother and white father at a time when such relations were illegal. Her parents were married in Canada and lived for a time in California, but the pull of the south brought them home. Yet, racism reared its ugly head and the couple divorced, but not before molding a daughter who would later go on to be named Poet Laureate of the United States. Today, Trethewey is a professor of creative writing at Emory University. Her poetry [...]


    2. Natasha Trethewey was the Poet Laureate of the United States from 2012 to 2014. During those years she was a regular presence on public television, appearing on “Where Poetry Lives,” a series aired on PBS’s The News Hour. Those wonderful segments are still available online: pbs/newshour/tag/where. Trethewey became the Poet Laureate of Mississippi in 2012 and still retains that post.Native Guard is Trethewey’s third book of poetry; first published in 2006, it won the Pulitzer for poetry i [...]


    3. Natasha Trethewey's Native Guard is (I swear) one of the BEST collections of poetry I have read in a long time.This collection is seemingly simple. The language is clear, stripped down, and imagistic. The narratives are straightforward and very easy to follow, especially for those who don't read much poetry "because it is hard to understand." But for those who LOVE poetry and understand it, Native Guard is virtually flawless. Each poem is layered in so many different ways one could read the book [...]


    4. 4 and 1/2 starsThe first section of poems dealing with the author's mother (and her death) gets 5 stars. I loved the poems individually and as a whole. Whenever I read a poem, I read it at least twice. The second time is to let the words wash over me, as the first time the content is unfamiliar and I can only seem to focus at first on what the poem says and not how it sounds and flows. These poems were impressive during both readings.Perhaps because I loved the first section so much, I was sligh [...]


    5. This is a wonderful book of poems. The author writes of black regiments during the Civil War, her experiences as a mixed race child in Mississippi, her parents' marriage. It's a short but packed volume and I highly recommend it to poetry lovers and general readers who would like to try poetry.


    6. I read this over two days and most of the poems several times over. The blurbs on the back point out her "elegiac verse that honors her mother and father". Another blurb states, "Trethewey serves our profound need for that rare thing - artistically fine Civil War poetry." Sure, there's elegies and a few may include the Civil War as a backdrop, but these poems are so much more. They are some of the most deeply American poems I've read. But even more, they evoked a sense of what it means to be hum [...]


    7. “You can get there from here, thoughthere’s no going home.”--Theories of Time and SpaceTrethewey’s Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of poems has language crystal-cut—sharp, hard, clear, exquisite—with a bordering restraint. These stories are about memory, her own and those of her people. These poems are not just, not only, about race. Who are her people? They are us. “in sleep, their bodies curved—parentheses…”--Southern GothicThe longest poem in this slim book, Native Guard [...]


    8. I received this book as a Christmas present from our oldest. We both really like poetry, so she picked this one out for me. It's a poignant collection of poems that span over a hundred years of American history, filled with raw emotions and vivid imagery. I had never really heard of Natasha Trethewey before nor had I heard about her Pulitzer Prize-winning work. Overall, it's a quick read and an interesting insight into one woman's history as well as the racial conflicts in America going as far b [...]



    9. I’ve read Native Guard three times now. It is very brief, even with notes it doesn’t reach 50 pages. Despite its brevity it is so richly compelling a collection that while you may well read it one sitting it will still take many more readings to finish. The book is remarkably expansive, starting in its three parts with the personal and familial, then moving to the national and historical in its second part, before concluding with a set of poems where personal and historical are combined. The [...]


    10. Native Guard by Natasha Trethewey is filled with poems about American History and Natasha Tretheway's personal history. I asked myself this question. Is it possible to separate myself from history larger than life or is it a part of my smaller world? Ms. Tretheway gives a quote spoken by Frederick Douglass. "If this war is to be forgotten, I ask in the name of all things sacred what shall men remember?" I think my question has been answered by an ancestor who is still alive in my soul every time [...]


    11. Trethewey's tremendous strength is her merging of the lyric and the narrative such that work feels perfectly balanced and seamless. Why the rough edge of beauty? she asks, in Photograph: Ice Storm, 1971.Why remember anything but the wonder of those few days,the iced trees, each in its leafy case?The picture we took that first morning,the front yard a beautiful, strange place--why on the back has someone made a listof our names, the date, the event: nothingof what's inside--mother, stepfather's f [...]


    12. Natasha Trethewey is a former United States Poet Laureate and winner of the Pulitzer Prize. She’s biracial and grew up in America’s Deep South. In Native Guard, she writes about her childhood and the racial history of the South.This collection is probably a good starting point for people who are new to poetry. Most of the poems are narrative. The language is beautiful but not unnecessarily complex. The collection is divided into three sections. My favorite section is the first one, where the [...]


    13. Do you know what I hate? I mean besides mayonnaise? I hate jazz "best-of's." Some record exec. will cobble together 13 of Coltrane's "greatest" hits and sell it at Target. You pop it in your car and bop around like you're hip. The tracks move from Blue Train to Pursuance and leave you wondering why Coltrane got all weird. Well, you're not hip, you're a sucker. Sure, the tracks are good. But, listen to them along with the rest of their sibling tracks on the original album and suddenly, their GREA [...]


    14. I had to come back and read this again, something about it gets under your skin and remains. She is fearless. She weaves her own personal story among stories of the nation's past, tackling issues of love, death, abuse, interracial marriage, racial identity, racism, civil war and Reconstruction to name a few. Each poem is a strong voice in a larger conversation, and all packaged together make a powerful impression. What is EvidenceNot the fleeting bruises she'd cover with makeup, a dark patch as [...]


    15. This book is easy to read, approachable. Parts, though, are forgettable. It does feel as if Trethewey barely scratches the intensity of the subject. Race affects us all. Somehow some of these poems feel merely personal, like they affect the author only. Formal poetry can escape me. The ghazals got on my nerves and seemed heavy handed. I did like "After Your Death" very much. I wish there had been more of the Native Guard and poems like "Pilgrimmage". Those are pieces which I will remember and to [...]


    16. I came across this book while perusing the Favorite Poets of Color list. After learning that Natasha Trethewey is the current U.S. Poet Laureate, I requested it from the library. The book is divided into three sections. The first section focuses on Trethewey's grief after the death of her mother, the second dips into the racial history of Mississippi, her home state, and the third section melds the previous sections together with its focus on her childhood and coming of age as the daughter of a [...]


    17. The most beautifully structured slim volume of poetry I've read, since I started paying attention to such things. The foot of each poem mortised to the head of the next, Trethewey's manuscript creates a frieze of images and ideas in perfectly logical progression. Beautifully crafted, intelligent, measured. The title sequence of sonnets, "Native Guard," a tour de force in itself. Unfortunately, I've grown to loathe death poetry, and this manuscript is heavily weighted with them, in fact the entir [...]


    18. Native Guard by Natasha Trethewey, winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize, is sliced into three sections with the first section paying homage to a mother who has passed from this world into the next. In “The Southern Crescent,” travel plays a particularly prominent role, with the train “humming like anticipation” as the narrator and her mother travel east and she sees her mother in the window clearly. Trethewey’s poems are concise and filled with imagery that anyone can connect with on a vi [...]


    19. This collection is haunting, filled with the paradoxical beauty and brutality of the South as experienced both historically and personally. In addition to the content, I love that many of her poems have more formal structure than the free verse that I'm used to reading, my favorite being the call and response of "Graveyard Blues". This not incredibly complex poetry, the vocabulary and form simple and precise. Nonetheless, it is extraordinarily lyrical, a pitch-perfect gospel chorus that quietly [...]


    20. I'd already requested this book from the library when a friend of mine said she thought it was "ordinary," yet it's won the Pulitzer Prize. I was interested in exploring this possible discrepancy.The book's language IS pretty simple, sometimes even simplistic, but Trethewey has written some skilled poems in form, including a ghazal. The poems includes some compelling content (interracial marriage in the civil-rights-era south, racism, the Louisiana Native Guard) that would have helped it stand o [...]


    21. I'm really not a big poetry reader, but I liked this collection a lot--the way Trethewey explores the history of black Civil War soldiers, and being from the South, and loss Native Guard and Myth are my favorites--the repetitions in those two poems really work for me, the way the same words said again mean something slightly different the second time, and build on each other. Really powerful. I'm probably not going to go run out and start reading poetry all over the place because of this book, b [...]


    22. Her language is precise the way homemade bread is precise, versus the ambiguity of mass-produced loaves. She has a warm and delicious precision. The poetry is personal, haunting, important. Many are about growing up bi-racial in the South, or loss, or the pain of being an outsider. Yet she defies the easy way such subjects could turn critical, clinical, or cynical. I think I'd describe the tone as stern, brave and friendly. There's a simplicity to her technique that feels hospitable. I'd love to [...]


    23. Natasha Trethewey's Native Guard is a simple, but heartfelt, and somehow nonjudgmental examination of what it meant to be the object of abuse in a time and environment of bigotry. I admire her skill as a writer to convey such powerful images through such minuscule movements of diction and syntax. I admire her very much as person for her ability to produce such a tender, compassionate, and quiet piece in a space where rage and confusion would have been equally justified. Moving, beautiful, and br [...]


    24. I think this is Trethewey's strongest book yet, and I'm looking forward to her current book-in-progress. The combination of loss, historical poems interweaved closely with interracial identity and family memories in the childhood town where they all commingle is made even stronger by her use of form, which fascinates me more and more these days. The poem about cleaning her mother's house after her passing and trying to eat a fig from a tree in the front yard is breath-taking.


    25. I read this book after hearing the author interviewed on NPR by Diane Rehm. Hearing her speak about the difficulty of her childhood and death of her mothermade me go and buy the book. The poetry is very readable and heart felt. The author has much insight into her life and that of her family. I just got two other of her books to read.


    26. Poetry about the role of black soldiers during the Civil War in Louisiana. More poems are set in Mississippi during the late-1960s. There, the author, daughter of racially mixed marriage, reflects upon her and her mother's lives. poetnatashatrethewey. has information about this book and interviews with the author.


    27. Natasha Trethewey's Pulitzer Prize is really good. Are you surprised? I enjoyed the way she incorporates photography and explores a the struggle, heartbreak, and injustice of racial inequality in her life and the history of the United States, specifically a regiment of Union soldiers in the Civil War.


    28. Natasha Trethewey is simply one of the greatest poets this country has ever known. Native Guard is breathtaking in its simplicity. These are beautiful poems that will haunt you long after you've finished reading them. Highly recommended.



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