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[Poetry Friday] Joy Harjo’s “Remember”

"Remember" by Joy Harjo.

Myra here.

I am glad to be welcoming the new year with the Poetry Friday community. Thank you to Carol’s Corner for being the first Poetry Friday host this year!

We have just recently announced that we are doing a year of international literature this year. Basically, we hope to feature books or authors/illustrators or poets that fit into any of the following criteria:

  1. Books that have been translated into English from their original languages.
  2. Bilingual books.
  3. Books published in English but written or illustrated by non-native English speakers.
  4. Books written or illustrated by People of Colour

Joy Harjo fits into number 4. I have only learned about her poetry last year, when I featured her Crazy Brave (Amazon | Book Depository) for Poetry Friday too. If you have other recommended poets whose works have been translated into English – or who are non-native English speakers but publish in English, do let me know so I can look for them!

I discovered this entire poem from The Academy Of American Poets on Facebook. I thought that as we are about to start the year, it is good to “remember.” I hope you enjoy it!

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Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

9 comments on “[Poetry Friday] Joy Harjo’s “Remember”

  1. lindabaie

    All the celebrations for ‘new’ mean that we have been blessed with it standing on the old, doesn’t it, Myra? It is a poem for our start for sure! Happiest Wishes for a wonderful New Year in your new home! Thanks for the poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I look forward to delving into your choices of international literature, especially if this starting post is anything to go by. Such a powerful poem . The line that sang to me was “remember you are all people and all people are you.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A perfect way to kick off the new year! I especially love the last four lines of Joy’s poem. I love your focus on “A Year of International Literature.” I feel like I should have some Spanish/English authors for you, I just need to think a little.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Linda Mitchell

    Oh, my. This poem is astoundingly beautiful. I love the repetition of the word, “remember.” Happy New Year to you! Enjoy your year of literature discovery. I look forward to seeing what you learn and share.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. laurashovan222

    Happy New Year, Myra. I love Joy Harjo’s work. It’s wonderful (and about time) to have her as US Poet Laureate. I’d like to recommend the poet Danuta E. Kosk-Kosicka. She is a Polish poet — now an American! — writing in English. She also translates her mother Lidia Kosk’s poems from Polish to English.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was just thinking about the word “remember” and kindling a poem. Now, here, I find the word repeated so masterfully, so powerfully. I love the idea of building our future by remembering our past–so important, so grounding. Thanks for sharing this poem today.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. maryleehahn

    I love “remember all people are you and all people/are you.”

    I think we will learn lots from you this year! Thank you for opening our eyes and minds!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This was beautiful. It was almost like a chant. I love how it pulls together the oneness of everything.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for sharing this poem that allows us to remember things of our past. At this time the births are important since my 2nd granddaughter is soon to be welcomed into the world. Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

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