Analysis Of The Poem ' Native Guard '

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A traumatic event will never define a person’s identity, it will never prove character, or show weaknesses. A person is defined by much more than a single life event. Natasha Trethewey uses her confusion and hurt that she experienced as pieces for an artwork that has yet to be finished. By writing Native Guard, Trethewey recreates herself like a disjointed collage. Using gut-wrenching poetry as her medium, Trethewey uses her words to represent a self portrait of her struggles. Giving the reader a chance to immerse themselves completely within “Native Guard”, her audience is a key element throughout the book. You, as the reader, become an empty shell for Trethewey to build herself anew; a skeleton structure for a new identity. Instead of showing herself to the reader entirely, Trethewey uses her own complex emotions to establish intimacy with the audience. You experience her emotions as raw as she writes them. In her poem, “After Your Death,” Trethewey seems to walk you through her actions, “I found it half eaten, the other side / already rotting, or - like another I plucked / and split open - being taken from the inside,” (13). When you look at this at face value it seems meaningless, monotonous, and something that shouldn’t be included in a poem about mourning.
Nevertheless, Trethewey lets her emotions and thoughts seep through specific words of the poem. With phrases such as “rotting,” “split,” and “plucked” you can see a hidden aggressiveness that only shows itself
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