Research Paper On Natasha Trethewey

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Natasha Trethewey, undoubtedly one of the most well-known southern modern contemporary poets often expresses her feelings of poetry stating, “I think there is a poem out there for everyone, to be an entrance into the poetry and a relationship with it” (CITE). Trethewey was born on April 26, 1966 in Gulfport, Mississippi. Her parents, Gwendolyn Ann Turnbough and Eric Trethewey, were both prestigious workers in the community as a biracial couple. Trethewey’s childhood during the twentieth century was unlike any childhood during the twenty-first century. Growing up as a biracial child, during the Civil Rights Movement drove Trethewey to silence her judgements towards societies view of her. These unmentioned views of society and her own culture …show more content…

Trethewey uses the influence of her culture along with valid historical events throughout her poetry (“Interchange”). The combination of historical views along with emotional ties allows for her poetry to be understood by anyone reading it. The use her writing style allows for forgotten details of racism and prejudices from her childhood to be seen by anyone who reads her poetry (Davis). In her collection, Domestic Work, she expresses the lives of the working class African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement. These poems were derived from her mother’s, grandmother’s and aunt’s perspective and interactions with prejudices during this time (Trethewey). Not only did Trethewey express her culture within her first published collection of poems, but carried this general theme through every collection she has published. The trauma that she and her family have encountered throughout their lives has played a major role in her poetry career (Henninger). Throughout all of her collections Mississippi was a crucial setting, depicting the truth about the deep south that she grew up in during her first six years of life (Davis). Not only does she use descriptive setting, emotions and history within her poetry, but also photographs to show the reader the true faces depicted within the poem (Hall). This aspect of her writing allows for readers to gain …show more content…

Both Walt Whitman and Seamus Heaney have had a strong influence on Trethewey’s compositions (Davis). In the poem, “South” by Trethewey, she explains America as a ‘white space,’ similarly to the Walt Whitman’s views stance on the south. The use of this expression demonstrates the social hierarchy built within the south as a white supremacy era (Ibid). Not only has she been influenced by Whitman, but also by Heaney when writing this poem. After reading Holland’s “North,” she gained the idea of her poem “South” (Ibid). Eric Trethwey, her father, also contributed to her career (Millichap). Her father was a literature professor at Hollins College and a poet himself. As a child he persuaded Trethewey to write (Ibid). All of these astonishing poets have influenced her career, yet she has influenced many more poets throughout her profession. As a professor at Emory, an avid writer, and the former Laureate Consultant in Poetry for the United States, Trethewey has influenced several modern contemporary writers. (FIND PEOPLE). In an interview, Trethewey’s father mentions that she has become a role model for all aspiring writers in modern society and has paved the road for them to educate the public on their beliefs

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