#ReadIntl2020 Adult Books GB Challenges Lifespan of a Reader Poetry Poetry Friday Reading Themes

[Poetry Friday] The Kitchen Table Is Where The World Begins And Ends According to Joy Harjo

"Perhaps The World Ends Here" by Joy Harjo.

Myra here.

Thank you to Sally Murphy for hosting this week.

I have fallen in love with Joy Harjo’s poetry, and I am so glad that The Academy Of American Poets has featured a few of her poems on Facebook last year. This one is particularly thought provoking as Harjo muses on the centrality of kitchen tables in a home: a place where sensibilities are shaped, minds are moulded, bodies and spirits nourished and fed.

Our home has no kitchen table the way Harjo describes it in this poem. But our dining table does have a central space in our family where we do most things as a family. How about you, fellow Poetry lovers?

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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).

10 comments on “[Poetry Friday] The Kitchen Table Is Where The World Begins And Ends According to Joy Harjo

  1. Sally Murphy

    I love this Myra. Like you, I have no table in my kitchen but the dining table is certainly the place where so much more than eating happens.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I cannot choose a favorite line; each one is a beauty and truth, Myra. I don’t have a table in my small kitchen anymore, but in my old home we built in a booth where all gathered ALL the time! I do miss it! Thanks for this lovely poem from Joy Harjo!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We have a round table in the kitchen and now every morning, my husband and I read together and drink coffee and wake up enough to plan the day. Thank you for sharing this poem. It left me thinking about when my children were home and in school and what went on around the kitchen table then.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. In my house the kitchen table is where everyone dumps all their stuff when coming in the door. Maybe this poem can help me have a better attitude about that. 🙂 Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kareneastlund4898

    I love this kitchen table poem. My table is kitchen and dining area all in one… and as with kitchens everywhere, everything happens there. The family gathers for warmth and sustenance. The chief cooks and bottlewashers are busy there, serving up cold sips and warm cups. Perhaps the kitchen table has taken the place of the warm hearth… the heart of the home. Thanks for this intro to Harjo and this wonderful warm poem. Greatly appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Our kitchen table, wherever we’ve lived, has always been the center of our home life. Thanks for introducing me to Joy Harjo’s work, Myra, I now wan to read more of her work.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a great poem. Unfortunately, we don’t spend as much time around it as we used to. My kiddos are older and everyone is always running off in a different direction. This poem is a good reminder to get everyone around it again soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kay Mcgriff

    This was the first poem by Harjo that I read, and I was smitten. I grew up with a kitchen table where much of our family life happened from meals to homework to craft projects and more. Now we have a kitchen island (now a bar in our new home) and a dining room table. It seems most of the stuff of life happens at the island/bar. It’s where we gather and share. No matter the place we choose to break bread and share meals together, I agree with Harjo it is in those moments that lives are shaped.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The kitchen, the table, the issues, the lives and deaths–well, now, central heart of being. Hearth, only home of beaten dirt floor. You can tell it’s a good poem–so lengthy the lines, compared to mine–because it makes me even comment poetically. Thank you, Myra!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve been thinking about our dining room table, Myra – probably because I had it completely covered in Etsy overflow projects through the holidays, and I’m vowing not to do that again! ;0) Ours is a crazy-heavy travertine marble affair that we’ve moved from house to house to house to, now, little cottage. But it’s the table we raised our children around, so paying for movers to make crates for it has been worth it. I keep flowers on it, but I do need to keep it more clear – one never knows when someone might need to join us for a meal there. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and this beautiful poem. Happy 2020!

    Liked by 1 person

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