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She also discusses what challenges she had to face while writing the poems and researching for the book.
The lecture is more of a personal story of how Rita Dove’s inspiration and journey that ended up in the form of this book. She tells it very much like a personal story of intrigue and research to find out about Bridgetower. She sprinkles her lecture with light humor every now and then to save the listeners from monotony and reads out from her book to help us actually see how her research on Bridgetower was employed to weave poems.
Being a black American wed to a white man, and having a child she can totally relate to Bridegtower’s story. Being the son of an African prince and a Polish mother, Bridegtower was ‘different’ as Rita Dove calls it, his father helps him ‘exploiting the difference’ and that is explained by Rita Dove when she reads out ‘The wardrobe’. Similarly we notice that Dove virtually goes back in time and gets into Bridgestone’s shoes to explore what it felt like being him back then. The way Rita Dove tells the story of her research and inspiration behind the book, and then when we listen to those recitations of poems from Sonata Mulattica, we can easily see how she went into every small detail for writing her poems. Like she tells how Thomas Jefferson was there in one of Bridgetower’s concerts. And then the way she tells how being black or mixed or ‘different’ was treated differently back then if compared with today’s world. She calls this story ‘More than a story’ and her treatment of it proves that she has indeed turned it into more than a story, breathing life into it.
Rita Dove loves playing music and her interest in music and classic compositions takes her at a totally different level to be able to understand and appreciate Bridgetower’s lost talent. She celebrates it
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