Monday, July 9, 2012

Quotation Of The Day: Poet Laureate Edition

I missed the announcement that the United States has a new Poet Laureate, Natasha Trethewey.  I'm totally unfamiliar with her work, so I'll trust Charles McGrath who reports:
Ms. Trethewey’s great theme is memory, and in particular the way private recollection and public history sometimes intersect but more often diverge. “The ghost of history lies down beside me,” she writes in one of her poems, “rolls over, pins me beneath a heavy arm.”
The following poem was published in 2010.

Vespertina Cognitio
by Natasha Trethewey

Overhead, pelicans glide in threes—
         their shadows across the sand
                  dark thoughts crossing the mind.

Beyond the fringe of coast, shrimpers
         hoist their nets, weighing the harvest
                  against the day's losses. Light waning,

concentration is a lone gull
         circling what's thrown back. Debris
                  weights the trawl like stones.

All day, this dredging—beneath the tug
         of waves—rhythm of what goes out, 
                  comes back, comes back, comes back.

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