PostColonial Love Poem

by Natalie Diaz

Natalie Diaz’s second poetry collection – up for this year’s Forward prize – opens with its title poem, in which past and present blur in an eternal conflict. “The war never ended and somehow begins again,” she declares. Diaz, a US-based poet and MacArthur “genius grant” winner, identifies as queer, Mojave, Latinx, and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian tribe. In the US, she is, as the minotaur in her poem I, Minotaur suggests, “citizen of what savages” her. To be savaged is to be brutalised by her nation, but also lurking beneath the verb is the savage, a slur for indigenous people.

Conveying clear ideas through crisp, dazzling images, Diaz’s poems typically unfold in long lines grouped into short stanzas. She instructs and inquires; she mourns and rhapsodises. . .

I give it 5 stars.

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