Native Guard

Native Guard

Book - 2007
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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 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, in 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."
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2007
Edition: First Mariner Books edition
Copyright Date: ©2006
ISBN: 9780618604630
Branch Call Number: 811.6 T7257N 2007
Characteristics: 51 pages ; 22 cm


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May 17, 2018

This book of poetry speaks to the past and the present, treating these as highly connected and certainly still present. Growing up in MIssissippi and born to a mixed-race couple, she is acutely aware of slavery and its lingering effects. Some of the poems,
especially as her collection begins, show and share her grieving for her then recently deceased Mother. These are tender and compassionate portraits of her mother.
The title " Native Guard" opens the poems to the past, as Tretheway explores the civil war
and its effects on her native Mississippi. Highly recommended.

Mar 29, 2018

She takes the tangles of the past without straightening them to make something new.


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