Natasha Trethewey evokes the dreamlike world of childhood memory in a handful of repeating lines and stark, devastating images.
Excerpt from Rotation, by Natasha Tretheway
Natasha Trethewey uses the pantoum, a poetic form made up of alternating pairs of repeating lines, to describe a childhood memory of near-archetypal resonance: a father silhouetted in the doorway, turning to leave. The poem’s dreamlike atmosphere captures the feeling of separation so powerfully involved in the bedtime rituals of young children, while the imagery of light and dark alludes to the mixed-race Trethewey’s complicated relationship with her white father, poet Eric Trethewey.
Natasha Trethewey is New York Times best selling author for Memorial Drive and Pulitzer winner for her Native Guard. She has also served two terms as the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States from 2012-2014. Thrall, her 2012 book of poetry. was a finalist for the 2013 Paterson Poetry Prize and the 2013 Phillis Wheatley Book Award, Poetry.
Trethewey's work looks closely at the intersection of racial identity and mixed racial identity, history, and society. Her work also tackles white supremacy and race relations by analyzing systems of power and those who create and or perpetuate them.
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