Quotes by: Natasha Trethewey
In my own life, I believe it was an early education in poetical metaphor that helped me to grapple with and make sense of all the difficult and traumatic things that were to come.
The more I've gotten interested in writing about history and making sense of myself within the continuum of history, the more I've turned to paintings, to art. I look to the imagery of art to help me understand something about my own place in the world.
When I was growing up there, North Gulfport was referred to as 'Little Vietnam' because of the perception of crime and depravity within its borders - as if its denizens were simply a congregation of the downtrodden.
People always want to be on the right side of history; it is a lot easier to say, 'What an atrocity that was' then it is to say, 'What an atrocity this is.'
I am interested in 18th century natural philosophy, science, particularly botany, the study of hybridity in plants and animals, which, of course, then allows me to consider the hybridity of language.
It took me years of attempts and failed drafts before I finally wrote the elegies I needed to write.
On a very personal level, I have fond memories of spending a lot of time in the Library of Congress working on my collection of poems 'Native Guard.' I was there over a summer doing research in the archives and then writing in the reading room at the Jefferson building.
The experience of poetry could bring my mother back to me. Poetry offers a different kind of solace - here on earth.
Often people would mistake me for white when I was younger, and I didn't correct them; there would be a period of time that they just thought I was.
My parents had to go to Ohio to get married in 1965 because it was still illegal in Mississippi. My white father and black mother.
'NewsHour' is very interested in poetry, but they're also interested in not just that something's cute to add on at the end of their programming, but something that actually is integrated into the news.
I think there is a poem out there for everyone, to be an entrance into the poetry and a relationship with it.
I know that my tendency is to be linear, and I'm trying to find ways to subvert that. And so in 'Bellocq's Ophelia' my device for subverting it was to tell the story and then to tell it again; it always circles back to this one moment, and it's not linear, but it's round in that way, and much of 'Native Guard' is like that.
I think people turn to poetry more often than they think they do, or encounter it in more ways than they think that they do. I think we forget the places that we encounter it, say, in songs or in other little bits and pieces of things that we may have remembered from childhood.