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Thrall - Natasha Trethewey

If you like poetry, you should read Natasha Trethewey.  These poems are, on one hand, about her relationship to her father, and, on the other hand, the position that black people have been too often placed in by white people.


Thrall is an interesting word choice because it means being in someone's power.  There is the power that family holds over us.  There is the hold that the art that inspired some of these poems had on Trethewey.  There is the sense of ownership that white people have felt (or still feel in some cases) over black bodies.  It's all here.  Stark and beautiful.


I mean, look at this quote from "Taxonomy" -  a poem about the painting on the cover


Call it the taint -as in

T'aint one - and t'aint the other


Illicit an yet still naming still

what is between


(Loc 282)


It's a hard hitting use of word play.  You can see why she was US Poet Laureate. 



BTW - She is not dead.  The US Poet Laureate position is different than that of the UK.  It's only for Oct to May, poets can serve more than once.  Usually the Laureate, among other duties, picks a weekly poem for the NYT Sunday Magazine.