Native Guard - Pages 16 - 24 Summary & Analysis

Natasha Trethewey
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Summary

The poem “Pilgrimage” describes the experience of visiting Vicksburg, Mississippi and exploring the town’s history during the Civil War. While standing over what used to be a hollowed out “web of caves” the speaker quotes a line from the book My Cave Life in Vicksburg by Mary Webster Loughborough, “what is to become of all the living things in this place?” (19). She describes the city as a grave, and talks about how every spring people come from all over to visit the cemeteries and battlefields, “marvel” at the museums and “sleep in their beds” (19). The poem ends with a dream in which the speaker lies in bed beside the ghost of history, which “rolls over, pins [her] beneath a heavy arm” (19).

“Scenes from a Documentary History of Mississippi” is a poem divided into four parts, each dealing with a different historical representation...

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This section contains 1,289 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Native Guard Study Guide
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