Erasure Late last night, after a long day of prepping for teaching, and teaching, I went online to check on a younger Native poet. She had decided to stand up and speak her truth when a memoirist ex, popular for her emotional eloquence and ability to embody the forbidden, misrepresented her.
New and Selected Poems: This is, of course, a signal that I need to find that book and read it in its entirety. And there were plenty of other lovely poems elsewhere in the compilation, so my time reading the whole volume was not at all wasted.
Then I noticed another similarity between my three favorite poems-all three were heavy on repetition.
I want to focus here on the litany form, but keeping in mind that the way a litany makes use of repetition could be used in any sort of poem, to some degree. Then the reader is released, feeling changed by the experience.
Remembering is something we all do. Sometimes we fear to remember and sometimes we fear not to remember. The title puts the word in a form of a command, and this command is carried through the entire poem. The reader is instructed to remember whether or not she wants to. The poem is also framed by this word-it stands alone as the title, and it stands alone on the last line of the poem.
Within this frame is the list of all that Joy Harjo wants her readers to remember. The list begins with a personal tone: I try to remember everything the poem has told me to remember, and I definitely remember the poem itself.
This, of course, gives the poem a darker tone. And I think the darkness and heaviness of its subject matter is perhaps the reason that Harjo chose to modify the repeated phrases throughout the poem.
Each place in the poem where there is a change gives the reader a chance to take a breath, to step back for a second, and then square her shoulders to go forward. The use of repeated phrases to begin lines becomes less important in this part of the poem, but there are several instances of repeated sentence structures.
And there is one use of repetition towards the end of the poem that I found especially poignant: But to me it does not feel like the way the poem ends is a betrayal of anything that was proclaimed earlier in the poem.
Instead, I believe the speaker has realized that she is not afraid to be afraid, a significant realization. The use of repeated phrases in the litany style allowed Joy Harjo to elevate the emotional level of this poem, and by changing those phrases throughout the poem she allowed the speaker to have an epiphany.Joy Harjo (born Joy Foster on May 9, , Mvskoke) is a poet, musician, and author.
Born in Oklahoma, she took her paternal grandmother's surname when she enrolled in the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. Born in Oklahoma, she took her paternal grandmother's surname when she enrolled in the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
One example of Joy using repetition and refrain is when she says, “Remember that language comes from this. Remember the dance that language is, that life is.
Remember. ” Joy keeps reminding us to remember. To remember everything in your life that got you where you are today and to never forget the people and things that helped.
(Coleman) 1. Choose ONE of the following poems to conduct an analysis of its meaning: • “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou • “Remember” by Joy Harjo.
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Nov 03, · ANCHORAGE, A POEM BY JOY HARJO. ANCHORAGE for Audre Lorde This city is made of stone, of blood, and fish. from She Had Some Horses by Joy Harjo. The last lines of this poem reference the pivotal poem by Audre Lorde "A Litany For Survival", Remember to Breathe  (1) Ginny Bates: Repairing The Fence.
D D Joy uses figurative language to relay the message of the poem. One example is when she says, “Remember the suns birth at dawn. This personification is saying not to forget how the sun rises.