Monday, November 19, 2018

Q&A …

… Building a Monument: An Interview with Natasha Trethewey. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I gave a reading years ago to a group of trustees. I was reading from Native Guard, from the poems in the third section that are about my own history growing up black and biracial, with my parents in an interracial marriage. Afterward, this woman looked at me with a morose expression on her face and she said, “Do you have any hope?” I wanted to say, “You just sat here and listened to me for thirty minutes reading poems I’ve written, based on this history—do you not understand that the making of a poem is one of the most hopeful acts?” People hear the trauma or they hear the despair and grief that lives still fully in me and yet they don’t see that it actually becomes a pathway to light. Rumi wrote, “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” That’s why I feel filled with it.

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