Today, I’m sharing a poem by the current United States Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo. I first encountered her work via a Native American Literature course in graduate school, and  I’ve been enjoying her work since then.

The final prompt for Love Notes 31 [which ended last week] was “Don’t Forget to Remember,” and thinking of no way to respond to the prompt that was neither trite nor lengthy, I found myself drawn to Harjo’s poem, “Remember.”

May it provide a bit soul food for your Tuesday.

Joy Harjo

Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star’s stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is.
Remember the sun’s birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. Remember sundown
and the giving away to night.
Remember your birth, how your mother struggled
to give you form and breath. You are evidence of
her life, and her mother’s, and hers.
Remember your father. He is your life, also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,
listen to them. They are alive poems.
Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the
origin of this universe.
Remember you are all people and all people
are you.
Remember you are this universe and this
universe is you.
Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember language comes from this.
Remember the dance language is, that life is.

About the image:  The postcard above was sent to me by HannahsMommy07 on swap-bot for a “Postcards with a Prompt” swap. I have no information about the artist, but this postcard has been waiting to be shared for almost two years. Eek!

11 thoughts on “Remember…

  1. delphini510 says:

    Chandra, thank you for posting this wonderful poem by Joy Harjo . I was also delighted to see she is now Poet Laureate.
    It was long since I fell for her poems and music. Have the C.D. ” Native Joy for Real” in front of me. Her songs are poems in song.


    Liked by 1 person

      • Ellen Hawley says:

        I used to work for a writers organization in Minnesota–the Loft–which (fiction writer that I am) brought me into contact with a wider range of poets than I would otherwise have found. Many of them knocked my socks off.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Chandra Lynn says:

        That’s wonderful! I’ve been trying to be a bit more intentional about my [creative] writing. I’ve been writing poetry regularly this month, but it’s been quite some time since I took a serious dive into fiction. Fiction requires my being able to go into a tunnel and ignore “all the things.” A poem will come and I can quickly jot it or at least the concept and return to it in the wee morning hours.

        Liked by 1 person

Talk to me...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.