Summary: Natasha Trethewey''s muscular, luminous poems explore the complex
memory of the American South--history that belongs to all
Americans. The sequence forming the spine of the collection follows
the Native Guard, one of the first black regiments mustered into service
in the Civil War. In Trethewey''s hometown of Gulfport, Mississippi, a
plaque honors Confederate POWs, but there is no memorial to these
vanguard Union soldiers. Native Guard is both a pilgrimage and an
...show more>elegy, as Trethewey skillfully employs a variety of poetic forms to create
a lyrical monument to these forgotten voices.
Interwoven are poems honoring Trethewey''s mother and recalling
her fraught childhood--her parents'' interracial marriage was still illegal
in 1966 Mississippi. Native Guard is a haunting, beguiling narrative,
caught in the intersections of public and personal testament. As Rita
Dove proclaimed, ''Here is a young poet in full possession of her craft.'' ...show less
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