Native Guard (Hardcover)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780618604630, 64pp.
Publication Date: March 1, 2006
The title poem imagines the life of a former slave stationed at the fort, who is charged with writing letters home for the illiterate or invalid POWs and his fellow soldiers. Just as he becomes the guard of Ship Island's memory, so Trethewey recalls her own childhood as the daughter of a black woman and a white man. Her parents' marriage was still illegal in 1966 Mississippi. The racial legacy of the Civil War echoes through elegiac poems that honor her own mother and the forgotten history of her native South. Native Guard is haunted by the intersection of national and personal experience.
About the Author
Praise For Native Guard: Poems…
"Elegiac...eloquently told...profoundly moving...Trethewey is clearly a poet to savor." --Maxine Kumin
"In a very few years Natasha Trethewey has created a small body of nearly flawless poetry." --Rodney Jones
"[Natasha Tretheway’s] voice is a rare, beautiful gift to the reader." --William Ferris, Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History, UNC Chapel Hill
"Natasha Trethewey serves our profound need for that rare thingartistically fine Civil War poetry...She is our Native Guard." --David Madden, Louisiana State University, author of Sharpshooter: A Novel of the Civil War