Thrall Poems

This is a review of Thrall: Poems by Natasha Trethewey. Who was the product of a mixed marriage – a white father and a black mother – in the state of Mississippi.

This was not a happy family – in fact it was a terrible family, even by American standards. And her poetry makes this abundantly clear. When she wrote this, she got even with her father – and then some.

Since she is now the Poet Laureate of America, she can indulge in a personal vendetta against her Dad. And this book should be seen as that.

She refers to many works of art that dramatize racial conflict (that are in thrall to it) – but only one is shown – on the cover of the book. Her descriptions of these made my blood run cold – and the book should have included this artwork.

She also makes it clear that some Latinos (Mexicans, for example) are even more racially bigoted than Americans are.

This used to be the case in Costa Rica, where I live. Blacks on the Caribbean coast (who spoke English) were forbidden to move to the interior of the country – where everyone else lived, and where there were more jobs. This has since ended – and many Ticos (especially sports stars) are now black (but speak Spanish only).

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