In this Video Natasha Trethewey reads her poem Elegy for the Native Guards, however this is a great video because it takes you to the places she talks about in this poem. This way not only can you listen to the poem but you can also see and picture the places that she talks about and visits in Elegy for the Native Guards.
This video has Natasha Trethewey reading her poem “Graveyard Blues” from her book of poems, Native Guard. The poem is beautifully read and the pictures in the video help the listener to interpret the poem as she reads it.
There have been many blogs written about or by Natasha Tretheway as well as Native Guard, but this blog in particular stood out above the rest. The blog is titled, Read More/Blog More Poetry by Lu and was published in February of this year. It was very upbeat and I think advocated the book of poems very well. It even reached out to audiences that aren’t fans; people who think poetry is boring or hard to understand and explain that this book will open up your eyes to new horizons. Although Tretheway did not personally create this blog, Lu is a strong supporter and fan of her writings. She gives insight on how the poetry covers a sense of history, culture and family and talks about how the book is broken up in to three different sections. I think this blogger does a great job in showing why we are reading Native Guard in our class and why other audiences as well as the classroom should read it. My favorite part of the blog is the poem she puts at the end of her blog titled, “My Mother Dreams Another Country,” it is a great way to close and reflect on her work.
“My Mother Dreams Another Country”
Already the words are changing. She is changing from colored to negro, black still years ahead. This is 1966 – she is married to a white man - and there are names for what grows inside her. It is enough to worry about words like mongrel and the infertility of mules and mulattoes while flipping through a book of baby names. She has come home to wait out the long months, her room unchanged since she’s been gone: dolls winking down from every shelf — all of them white. Every day she is flanked by the rituals of superstition, and there is a name she will learn for this too: maternal impression – the shape, like an unknown country, marking the back of the newborn’s thigh. For now, women tell her to clear her head, to steady her hands or she’ll gray a lock of the child’s hair wherever she worries her own, imprint somewhere on the outline of a thing she craves too much. They tell her to stanch her cravings by eating dirt. All spring she has sat on her hands, her fingers numb. For a while each day, she can’t feel anything she touches: the arbor out back — the landscape’s green tangle; the molehill of her own swelling. Here — outside the city limits – cars speed by, clouds of red dust in their wake. She breathes it in — Mississippi — then drifts towards sleep, thinking of someplace she’s never been. Late, Mississippi is a dark backdrop bearing down on the windows of her room. On the TV in the corner, the station signs off, broadcasting its nightly salutation: the waving Stars and Stripes, our national anthem.
This is an excerpt from Natasha Trethewey’s Memoir, “Beyond Katrina.” “Beyond Katrina” is a memoir of poems which holds details of Trethewey’s family history, along with her love for the Gulf Coast and her roots in the South.
In this video Trethewey talks about organization and the impact of repetition, music, etc. affect her poems in Native Guard.
This video shows Natasha Trethewey’s response to certain works of art. Through reading her poems, we can see the connections that she has made. It’s important to try and understand Trethewey’s thought process in order to connect on a deeper level with her. I think this is especially important, because in class we do “responsive” activities similar to this. By watching Trethewey’s translations we can learn something new and improve our own responses/interpretations. Watch the video for the first 4 minutes and 30 seconds.
This is a type of media we found of Natasha Trethewey reading her poems from her collection, Native Guard. We recommend you watch minutes 10-14, she reads, “Theories of Time and Space” beautifully. We also recommend minutes 18-21, she reads, “Pilgrimage” and discusses the background behind this poem.