Myth

By Natasha Trethewey b. 1966 Natasha Trethewey
I was asleep while you were dying.
It’s as if you slipped through some rift, a hollow
I make between my slumber and my waking,
 
the Erebus I keep you in, still trying
not to let go. You’ll be dead again tomorrow,
but in dreams you live. So I try taking
 
you back into morning. Sleep-heavy, turning,
my eyes open, I find you do not follow.
Again and again, this constant forsaking.
 
*
 
Again and again, this constant forsaking:
my eyes open, I find you do not follow.
You back into morning, sleep-heavy, turning.
 
But in dreams you live. So I try taking,
not to let go. You’ll be dead again tomorrow.
The Erebus I keep you in—still, trying—
 
I make between my slumber and my waking.
It’s as if you slipped through some rift, a hollow.
I was asleep while you were dying.

Natasha Trethewey, “Myth” from Native Guard. Copyright © 2007 by Natasha Trethewey. Reprinted by permission of Natasha Trethewey.

Source: Native Guard (Mariner Books, 2007)

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Poet Natasha Trethewey b. 1966

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Living, Death, Sorrow & Grieving, Mythology & Folklore, Greek & Roman Mythology

Poetic Terms Tercet

 Natasha  Trethewey

Biography

Natasha Trethewey was born in Gulfport, Mississippi, the daughter of poet, professor, and Canadian emigrant Eric Trethewey and social worker Gwendolyn Ann Turnbough. The daughter of a mixed-race marriage, Trethewey experienced her parents’ divorce when she was six. She subsequently spent time in Atlanta, Georgia, with her mother and in New Orleans, Louisiana, with her father. Encouraged to read as a child, Trethewey studied . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Sorrow & Grieving, Mythology & Folklore, Greek & Roman Mythology

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Tercet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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