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Native Guard

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Description

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, 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 more 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.

From Publishers Weekly

Jan 23, 2006 – Trethewey (Domestic Work) draws on the life of her deceased mother and on the history of Mississippi, where the poet and her mother's family grew up, to limn a multiracial South and her own multiracial heritage. One poem tries to preserve her mother's memory ("certain the sounds I make/ are enough to call someone home"); the title poem's set of linked sonnets, where the last line of each one becomes the first line of the next, presents black Union soldiers who "keep/ white men as prisoners—rebel soldiers,/ would-be masters." A pantoun remembers the night Trethewey's family discovered a burning cross on her lawn; the concluding poem condenses the poet's mixed—and compelling—feelings about "Mississippi, state that made a crime// of me—mulatto, half-breed, native—/ in my native land, this place they'll bury me."
Native Guard
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Poetry
  • Published: Apr 03, 2007
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Seller: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
  • Print Length: 64 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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