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Southern Spaces
A journal about real and imagined spaces and places of the US South and their global connections

Theories of Time and Space

Emory University
Published June 20, 2005

Overview

Poet Natasha Trethewey presents her "Theories of Time and Space," April 9, 2005, around Gulfport, Mississippi. Trethewey is the author of Domestic Work (2000) and Bellocq's Ophelia (2002). Her upcoming Native Guard will be published in 2006.

Trethewey's poem "Elegy for the Native Guards" is also available on Southern Spaces.

"Theories of Time and Space" is part of the Poets in Place series, a Research Collaboration in the Humanities initiative funded through Emory University’s Presidential Woodruff Fund, in collaboration with series, a Research Collaboration in the Humanities initiative funded through Emory University’s Presidential Woodruff Fund, in collaboration with the Office of the Provost. Series producers are Natasha Trethewey and Allen Tullos.

Video

Theories of Time and Space

You can get there from here, though
there’s no going home.

Everywhere you go will be somewhere
you’ve never been. Try this:

head south on Mississippi 49, one-
by-one mile markers ticking off

another minute of your life. Follow this
to its natural conclusion—dead end

at the coast, the pier at Gulfport where
riggings of shrimp boats are loose stitches

in a sky threatening rain. Cross over
the man-made beach, 26 miles of sand

dumped on the mangrove swamp—buried
terrain of the past. Bring only

what you must carry—tome of memory,
its random blank pages. On the dock

where you board the boat for Ship Island,
someone will take your picture:

the photograph—who you were—
will be waiting when you return.
https://doi.org/10.18737/M7N30G