Discussing Poets: Natasha Trethewey


In class we discussed the poetry of Natasha Trethewey, the author of the Pulitzer Prize winning Native Guard, which reminisces the Civil War, the Antebellum, and more importantly, racial equality between African Americans and whites.

Trethewey was named 19th Poet Laureate of the United States in June, becoming the first Southerner to receive the honor since Robert Penn Warren, in 1986, and the first African American since Rita Dove, in 1993. She is a professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University in Atlanta She is the proud author of three books of poetry: Domestic Work (2000), Bellocq’s Ophelia (2002), and of course, Native Guard, which was published in 2006. She is currently working on another, called Thrall, which will be published this fall. She is a brilliant poet and utilizes free verse, sonnets, and elegies as a way of speaking her mind.Image 

 Natasha is also an inspiration to me personally, because she kept journals. She recorded thoughts, ideas, and observations about the world around her to aid her in her journey towards becoming a famous poet. 

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“I like to write in the morning,” says Trethewey in an interview told by Alex Hoyt. “I’d get up, make my coffee, and write from nine until noon, or until I made a poem, whichever came first…It was at that moment that the notes I had written in the journal turned into an actual draft of the poem in its couplets.” 

It is important for any writer, any poet to believe in the ideas that exist within themselves and push themselves to new heights. There is a rawness, a realness, a unique, genuine perspective that Trethewey presents within her poetry that I and I am sure, many others as well, greatly admire. 

Write the truth and your inspiration, your audience, will come to you! 

Childhood

Childhood is filled with
starry trampoline nights and
clambering up giant oaks
that fondly embrace you in
their leafy outstretched branches
with wild, fascinated eyes.
It’s catching sparkling fireflies in 
glass mason jars and 
scampering barefoot upon
cool summer long grass
and collecting sea shells
on the white sandy beaches
just to put them next to your ear. 
It’s swinging as high as
you can go and closing your eyes
to see what it feels like 
to spread your wings and fly.
In my case, childhood is 
all these things and more,
but mostly calm ocean waters
and never wanting to leave the pool—
feeling like a fish,
a mythical creature hidden
beneath the depths of the sea. 
Childhood for me, looks like
well-pruned hands and mermaid hair.
It smells a lot like 
chlorine skin. 
But, more than anything,
childhood is what it means
to be innocent and
carefree. 
Years later, 
I can still hear
the sound
of the 
ocean.

a.j.b.

Writing Prompt: Quote Week

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 Pretend you are a famous author. You are in an interview with a reporter and they are asking for a few words of wisdom to your fans. 

Construct 5 original quotes this week and write them down in your notebook or journal. These quotes can be targeted toward general life advice or a specific topic of your choice. 

Happy quoting!