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Joy Harjo: "An American Sunrise"

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An American Sunrise

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Jan 26
Savannah Kirchgessner (Jan 26 2021 8:46AM) : Background Information about Author more

Joy Harjo, was born May 9, 1951, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S. She is an American poet, writer, academic, musician, and Native American activist whose poems featured Indian symbolism, imagery, history, and ideas set within a universal context. Her poetry also dealt with social and personal issues, notably feminism, and with music, particularly jazz. She is the incumbent United States Poet Laureate, the first Native American to hold that honor. She is also only the second Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to serve three terms. In my opinion Harjo is a role model to may people and has overcome many challenges. Her poems tell stories and have meaning behind them all.

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Jan 26
Jenna Holle (Jan 26 2021 9:59PM) : connection more

In the poem, An American Sunrise, it is about people of different backgrounds uniting and accepting differences in culture. Joy Harjo expresses the hardships of finding her identity when living in a country where those differences are not widely accepted. The poem shows that despite background, all people share similarities and customs regarding their culture. In Mahealani’s poetry, she explains her background from Hawaii.
https://loc.gov/item/2020785235/

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Mar 11
Bryson Gatlin (Mar 11 2021 7:17PM) : Poem connection more

The poem I made connection to was " A Cherokee Prayer". This prayer is a prayer begging for guidance through their struggles. https://www.firstpeople.us/native-american-poems/a-cherokee-prayer.html

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BY JOY HARJO

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We were running out of breath, as we ran out to meet ourselves. We
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Jan 26
Paul Hankins (Jan 26 2021 7:29AM) : INVISIBLE MAN Connection more

The poet claims that this running is leaving the Indian “winded.” This reminded me of the protagonist’s dream of his Grandfather when he opens the letter to find its message regarding running and who drives and maintains the pace.

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Jan 26
Student Nicholas Losey (Jan 26 2021 8:36AM) : Repeating word more

Throughout the poem, Joy Harjo uses the pronoun “we” very frequently. In the first PBS article we were to read we learn that her extended work, the digital map, serves as work to fill the gap where American literature has misrepresented Native people or just not at all. I thinking the use of “we” here embodies that same effort to truly represent Native Americans through literature.

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Jan 26
Keandra Sumpter (Jan 26 2021 10:50AM) : Repetiton [Edited] more

Just as Nico noticed the repetition of the word “we”, I noticed this as well. I noticed it for a different reason however because of the pattern in the way in which it is repeated. This pattern being that there is a “we” at the end of a sentence every two lines.

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Jan 26
Jaclyn Emly (Jan 26 2021 11:49AM) : Repetition of word "we" more

Author, Joy Harjo, uses the word “we” at the being of each sentence for many different reasons. I noticed that it was used to show America is everyone living there no matter ethnicity and America is a place of people who come together as “we.”

were surfacing the edge of our ancestors’ fights, and ready to strike.
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Jan 26
Brianna Shepherd (Jan 26 2021 8:29AM) : A Blessing by Luci Tapahonso [Edited] more

Luci Tapahonso is Navajo and served as the inaugural Navajo Nation Poet Laureate (2013-2015). Her poem “A Blessing” speaks on the importance of honoring ancestors and having gratitude for the traditions and values they shared throughout the years.
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/147193/a-blessing-5b2a78fed2c23

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Jan 26
Autumn Fosse (Jan 26 2021 12:18PM) : ¨Ready to strike¨ more

¨We were surfacing the edge of our ancestors’ fights, ready to strike." This line in this poem screams to me. This transports me in a stormy scene with both sides on horses, one side with guns and another with spears and bows. I think it expresses passion in the very beginning of the poem which I enjoy and gives me a more curious interest for the rest of the poem. I am able to envision this poem more vibrantly because I have a set scene in my head and pulls it all together.

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It was difficult to lose days in the Indian bar if you were straight.
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Easy if you played pool and drank to remember to forget. We
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Jan 26
Zachary Milton (Jan 26 2021 12:18PM) : Searching for Meaning more

I’m pretty curious about the meaning of this line. “It was difficult to lose days in the Indian bar if you were straight.” What does “straight” mean? It’s the opposite of being someone who “played pool and drank to remember to forget.” So, maybe “straight” refers to an activist and being woke. This line indicates that certain people (indigenous people) wouldn’t forget the wrongs done to them, and vise versa. That’s what I appreciate most about this line, it packs in so much meaning.

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Jan 26
Megan Ekart (Jan 26 2021 8:53AM) : "Remember to Forget" more

I absolutely love this line the poem. I love the play on words of “remembering to forget.” I think the play on words and other lively elements throughout the poem keep the reader on their toes and ready to listen. The poem overall kept people who are not of Indian heritage interested in the story and image presented throughout the poem.

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Jan 26
Jasmine Murphy (Jan 26 2021 12:12PM) : Me too! more

Megan, I loved this line in “An American Sunrise” I felt that it was ironic and perfectly placed. Although, I don’t have to remember to forget, that seems to be a skill of mine. Furthermore, I agree with the comment about the play-on-words keeping the audience on their toes. I think that it helps us stay engaged in the story presented.

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Jan 26
Jessica Oltman (Jan 26 2021 9:07PM) : This Quote more
We are still America. We

know the rumors of our demise. We spit them out. They die soon" I adore this quote because I feel as if it speaks for Native Americans as much then as it does now, sadly. Natives were killed by the thousands and yet we still falsely believe that the first Thanksgiving was a peaceful dinner between the pilgrims and natives that lead to a life long friendship

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made plans to be professional — and did. And some of us could sing
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so we drummed a fire-lit pathway up to those starry stars. Sin
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Jan 26
Sarah Tucker (Jan 26 2021 8:30AM) : Imagery more

Harjo presents an element of imagery here. When I read this sentence, I can almost image tribes of indigenous people dancing and singing around a fire together. Imagery is always an important element to bring to a work because it really helps the reader to connect and deepen their appreciation with the author and their work.

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Jan 26
Adren Cooper (Jan 26 2021 9:31PM) : Harjo was extra descriptive in this line so the setting could really be visualized. By using imagery with the fire-lit pathway, and mentioning the stars as "starry", Harjo brings the line to life in an image.
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was invented by the Christians, as was the Devil, we sang. We
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Jan 26
Rachel Buchanan (Jan 26 2021 9:29AM) : Themes [Edited] more

There seems to be reoccurring themes of Religion- specifically Christianity. I feel as though the poet seems to have some religious trauma- as her speakings of it are rather enclosing.

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Jan 26
Abigail Grimm (Jan 26 2021 10:05AM) : Repeated words more

Joy Harjo frequently repeats the word “we” throughout this poem. Within the poem she is sharing some information about where she came from. In the PBS article she made a comment about why she made the effort to put the digital map together. She wanted to share with the world some other poets and people who came from some of the same places she grew up. She uses th word “we” in this poem to put emphasis on the fact that the native Americans are in this together. they support each other, and their culture is strong. I’ve always loved poems that told a story, and this poem does a great job explaining the culture and morals of the Native American tribes.

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Jan 26
Autumn Fosse (Jan 26 2021 1:11PM) : Lehua M. Taitano Connection more

Lehua is a queer Chamoru poet from Yigu, Guåhan. She is an author of a Pushcart Prize-nominated fiction that is published internationally. I chose ¨Sin was invented by the Christians , as was the Devil we sang." I chose this because I would be interested in how an indigenous queer woman would take this line from ¨An American Sunrise¨

https://lehuamtaitano.com/

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Mar 11
Benjamin Landers (Mar 11 2021 12:19PM) : Who Invented Sin? more

Why does Joy Harjo write that Christians invented sin? I believe she put the line in their to express that sin wasn’t “discovered” but rather “invented”. Looking at the diction of the word “invented”, Harjo could mean that her people have been prosecuted by Christians for what Christians deemed sin or manifest destiny

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were the heathens, but needed to be saved from them — thin
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Jan 26
Elizabeth Boes (Jan 26 2021 8:26AM) : Saving the Devil more

This quote caught my attention because even though white Americans thought Indians were “savages,” they wanted to keep them a part of the country. However, they wanted to change the Indians. As someone who has grown up being accepting of all races, it confuses me as to why people were like this all those years ago.

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Jan 26
Emma Holland (Jan 26 2021 11:59AM) : Heathens saved from "them" [Edited] more

Elizabeth, I think that we interpreted this line differently. When I first read it I understood it as you presented it in your comment. The indigenous being saved by the white settlers. Bur after another slow read through I now see it as the indigenous needed saved from the white settlers. And adding to your comment about the settlers wanting to keep them seems off. The indigenous of our country were pushed to isolated areas and were almost eliminated in the process. Also they were not counted as citizens until 1924.

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Jan 26
Jackson Neely (Jan 26 2021 8:33AM) : Thought Poem Connection more

In “An American Sunrise” by Joy Harjo, the speaker of the poem mentions that the tribal group that he or she is apart of were heathens and needed to be saved from the likes of Christian people who also believed in the Devil. When looping this back around and considering the poem “Thought” by Henry Real Bird, it is immediately made clear to the listener of the audio poem that he is accustomed to life on the Indian reservations and has somewhat of a concept of what it was like to be a part of these tribal groups. In his poem, the speaker of the poem discusses the separation of good from evil, which I think says a lot about the mindset of the Indians towards the Christians at the time who did not believe in their ritual like practices.

https://www.loc.gov/item/2020785218/

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Jan 26
Jon Hurley (Jan 26 2021 12:13PM) : Thin Chance more

What really draws me to this line is its simple way to make a claim more powerful than something that could be written with much more vernacular. “We were the heathens, but we needed to be saved from them — thin chance.” The flawed nature of this mentality is obvious: seeing the indigenous people as heathens and wanting to save them is nothing more than fear of a new culture and the desire to assimilate that culture. All of this is done through the rose-tinted lens of being some savior. Clearly, what was never done was an attempt to understand the culture, only that it was different, and therefore could never begin to understand what removing aspects of their culture for the purpose of assimilation would mean for these people. It is a gross misunderstanding that has caused the degradation of such valuable perspectives and traditions. Now, I have gone and said all this, but what is said directly after in two words holds even more meaning than this explanation: thin chance. It expresses everything that I have said and so much more in two simple words that stuck with me as a reader.

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Jan 26
Meredith Antz (Jan 26 2021 9:09PM) : Who are the savages? more

“We were the heathens, but needed to be saved from them..” In her comment, Elizabeth Boes talked about how she interpreted the quote as talking about the white settlers wanting to keep the Native Americans as part of the country. While I can see where she got this from and respect her opinion. I had a different opinion regarding the quote. When I was reading this poem in class, this line made me pause and think differently about the rest of the poem. Now as I read it again, I am finding myself thinking a little bit more deeply about the poem. Personally, I read this line as Joy Harjo stating that the white settlers called her people savages. However because of the actions of the white settlers, Joy Harjo’s people needed to be saved. I see this as Joy Harjo stating how ironic it was that her people were labeled “heathens”, yet the white settlers acted more aggressively. As a result of the white settlers actions, her people needed saving then and continue to need saving. My interpretation of this line goes along with Jon Hurley’s understanding than it does with Elizabeth’s. All this being said, I find it super ironic how even now Joy Harjo’s people need saving. While history books still exist depicting them as the savages and villains in the great origin story of America.

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chance. We knew we were all related in this story, a little gin
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Jan 26
Student Trey Kaufman (Jan 26 2021 8:31PM) : Turning point [Edited] more

I always find myself wondering if I am just making stuff up when it comes to analyzing poems. If a poet mentions a “blue window,” I don’t want to be the guy who thinks it has a specific meaning, when in reality the poet just likes blue windows. That said, notice line 6 when the poet says, “ Easy if you played pool and drank to remember to forget.” This is in direct contrast to line 11 as it pertains to alcohol. Line 6 seems to talk about how being “the same” or sweeping problems under the rug is an easy thing to do. Then line 11 uses the word “us” as it shows how we all at one point have used this “alcohol” to solve our problems.

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Jan 26
Victoria Hargadon (Jan 26 2021 12:02PM) : Gin more

Harjo said “a little gin/will clarify the dark and make us feel like dancing.” A couple lines before she said they “needed to be saved from them (Christians).” The white man was the one who introduced alcohol to Native Americans in the first place and now there are serious alcohol related issues on most reservations. It’s just another example of them getting the short end of the stick.

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Jan 26
Jasmine Murphy (Jan 26 2021 12:19PM) : True but... more

Tro, I agree with you to an extent. Alcohol may have been introduced by a certain group of people, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are to blame for alcohol abuse that is present today. Yes, they could be the reason that they have the poison, but drinking is a choice that people make. That’s just my take on that statement.

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Jan 28
Natalie Day (Jan 28 2021 11:16AM) : connection more

Joy Harjo talks about countering the false assumptions and educating others on how indigenous people should not be seem as inferior and should be recognized as humans. In the poem she write “we are all related in this story,” I feel the author feels the acknowledgement of indigenous people as humans and equals is a very important step that needs to be made.

will clarify the dark and make us all feel like dancing. We
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Jan 26
Paul Hankins (Jan 26 2021 8:33AM) : A Little Gin/Will Clarify the Dark more

We might point to the statistics of alcoholism one finds upon/within reservation living situations. These ideas play prominently in the newer works by authors like Sherman Alexie and by recent Printz Medal Honoree Erik Gansworth (APPLE SKIN TO THE CORE).

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Jan 28
Natalie Day (Jan 28 2021 11:09AM) : "clarify the dark and make us all feel like dancing" : tone more

This sentence contradicts the tone. When you see the words “clarify the dark,” you feel like the author is setting a deep, heavy, and maybe even sad or angry tone. However; the next part of the sentence “makes us feel like dancing,” suggest a joyous tone. One that is very uplifting and happy.

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had something to do with the origins of blues and jazz
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Jan 26
Paul Hankins (Jan 26 2021 8:35AM) : Giving Credit Where Credit is Due more

This asks us to consider the question of how much we owe to the First Nations for their influence and informing of much of our popular culture? Is this still happening today. Example, the Bernie Memes were recently echoed back with Indigenous beadwork (a much coveted art form that is a great source of pride for the First Nations people).

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Jan 26
Maddy Chancey (Jan 26 2021 12:22PM) : "We had something to do with the origins of blues and jazz." more

Joy Hario feels like the credit due to the First Nations is lost. When I picture her saying this, I see a look of sadness on her face, desperately trying to give credit where it’s due.

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Jan 27
Student Kylie Ramey (Jan 27 2021 12:11PM) : Blues and jazz more

When reading this poem, I felt a brighter tone from the author. The subject in this poem is very serious, but the references back to music and dancing makes the tone bright. In this next line, “filled the jukebox with dimes in June” also gives it a positive side on this important topic.

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I argued with a Pueblo as I filled the jukebox with dimes in June,
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Jan 26
Jarrett Garr (Jan 26 2021 12:24PM) : Why June? [Edited] more

I thought that June may have some significance because she could have picked any month… I did some research and found that the celebrated June plant is oak. According to native-languages.com tribes with Oak Clans include the Pueblo tribes of New Mexico, whose Oak Clan is named Hapanyi. I thought this was interesting because Pueblo was mentioned in this line. Just something to think about.

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forty years later and we still want justice. We are still America. We
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Jan 26
Ryan Emly (Jan 26 2021 8:22AM) : Hyphens more

The way Harjo is able to utilize hyphens in her lines enhances the feel of the poem. These subtle pauses in the middle of a narration add to the seriousness and importance of the story.

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Jan 26
Paul Hankins (Jan 26 2021 8:30AM) : EM DASH more

These are actually called EM DASHES (so named because they take up the space of two typed or word-processed Ms). Many think these are named for Emily Dickinson who employed them heavily within her pieces.

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Jan 26
Grahm Kerber (Jan 26 2021 12:00PM) : Short sentences more

As I read this poem I got almost a playful tone on a serious subject. The singing, dancing, and drinking made me think of people at a bar or at a party having a good time. But the last two lines were filled with short sentences, that made the turn back to having a serious tone. It reminds me of really any motivational speech where towards the end, the speaker will use shorter sentences to try and get the audience to think.

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Jan 26
Elizabeth Boes (Jan 26 2021 8:20AM) : Suzan Shown Harjo [Edited] more

Suzan Shown Harjo connects with “An American Sunrise” because she is fighting to win back Native American land. This sentence suggests that the Native Americans are not done fighting yet. Furthermore, they are not done fighting for their land back. With the help of people like Suzan Shown Harjo, Native Americans will continue to recover sacred lands and over hundreds of acres.

https://www.loc.gov/item/2020785244/

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Jan 26
Fiorella Padilla (Jan 26 2021 8:45AM) : Theme more

Harjo confronts the ghosts of her ancestors, she explores a lingering feeling of injustice and tries to forge a new beginning, all the while weaving in themes of beauty and survival.

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Jan 26
Jocelyn French (Jan 26 2021 9:19AM) : Trudell by Alex Jacobs [Edited] more

In the poem “Trudell” by Alex Jacobs he talks about being scared but remaining strong for those he loves. The poem by Joy Harjo expressing the same concerns, by pushing through hard times and remaining strong.
https://tile.loc.gov/storage-services/service/afc/afc2020004/afc2020004_01/afc2020004_01_ms01.pdf

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Jan 26
Jocelyn French (Jan 26 2021 9:35AM) : Who is the narrator/ poet? more

Joy Harjo is the 23rd poet laureate of the United States. Harjo is the first Native American poet laureate in history and she is a member of the Mvskoke/ Creek Nation.

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Jan 26
Makenzie Harshey (Jan 26 2021 8:27AM) : We are STILL America more

I think this line nods to the idea that throughout history, natives were not seen as Americans, but rather a people that were in the way of our America. The truth is that they were and still are America. This was their ancestors’ land before our ancestors took it from them. Now they are still unnoticed and unappreciated by “Americans” today.

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Jan 26
Allen Voorde (Jan 26 2021 8:32AM) : Denise Sweet more

Denise Sweet has a connection to “An American Sunrise” because she helped make sure and encouraged Native American voters to come out and vote during the 2020 election making sure that their voices were heard showing that they ‘are still America.’

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Jan 26
Christopher Crawford (Jan 26 2021 8:34AM) : Lack of inclusion more

Harjo mentions in the PBS article that indigenous people are not fairly represented in american storytelling and that they feel invisible so by writing “We are still America” it reminds the reader the importance of including these indigenous people and their stories into our history.

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Jan 26
student Anna Wright (Jan 26 2021 9:06AM) : personification more

Joy Harjo is the first Native American woman to be named the U.S. Poet Laureate. In her poem “An American Sunrise” She expressed the difficulties her heritage has went through and how they have fought this diversity in America. For instance in these sentences she used a personification of “spitting rumors” to express this. "We are still America. We know the rumors of our demise. We spit them out. "

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Jan 26
Keandra Sumpter (Jan 26 2021 11:01AM) : Connection more

After reading this poem, I did some research into finding a poem that I felt could go hand-in-hand with this one. This search lead me to the poem, “America, I Sing Back” by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke. The reason I selected this poem was because I felt as though the two poems sort of expressed the same idea. Coke’s poem it seems to reflect how Native Americans took care of America before it was the country that it is now. It also expresses the longing to one day be able to have this sort of caring relationship back with their country.
https://poets.org/poem/america-i-sing-back

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Jan 26
Karisten Balmer (Jan 26 2021 8:26PM) : "We are still America." [Edited] more

Before this,Harjo had 12 consecutive lines of a narrative that was passed onto her from centuries of ancestry. This is years of hate and injustice that her family and other Natives alike have had to live with. The previous lines represent the stories each life holds. She mentions things like “surfacing at the edge of our ancestors’ fights” and “we had something to do with the origins of blues and jazz.” Harjo’s family and heritage have gone unnoticed and overlooked for too long. In the end, she says, after lines and lines of intricate story-telling, “We are still America.” This may set as a reminder that even though Natives like her have been pushed and shoved into corners of the land that were once theirs, they are still a part of “America” post colonization. This will be a continuous fight for as long as the white man lives.

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Jan 26
TJ Bagshaw (Jan 26 2021 11:30PM) : We are still america [Edited] more

When I picture the typical “american,” I do not think of a native american; however, these are the people that truly should be considered american. Since native Americans were often mislabeled as Indians, I can see how the importance of their ancestors being the true ancestors of this land can be underappreciated.

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Mar 11
Bryson Gatlin (Mar 11 2021 7:12PM) : We are still America more

This line really shows what minorities have gone through in America. This line brings the white priveledge to the forefront as I have never had to prove that I am American.

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Mar 11
Bryson Gatlin (Mar 11 2021 7:13PM) : we are still America more

This line really shows what minorities have gone through in America. This line brings the white priveledge to the forefront as I have never had to prove that I am American.

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know the rumors of our demise. We spit them out. They die
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Jan 26
Hana Partipilo (Jan 26 2021 8:34AM) : figurative language more
This line emphasizes that the Native American people will not give up their fight, even though history has not been on their side. Harjo writes that they “spit out” the “rumors of our demise”, showing that they will not accept defeat.
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Jan 26
Madelynn Keinath (Jan 26 2021 11:52AM) : Rumors of our demise more

Joy Harjo writes this poem for the indigenous people who have become invisible and not seen as human. They have become invisible because of these rumors Harjo includes in this line of the poem. Rumors can destroy reputations and tear people down, just because of a few words of misinformation. Though she says, “We spit them out,” indicating they will fight those rumors until those words have been invisible instead of the people. They will not let harmful words and history tear them down for the future.

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Jan 26
Ciara Kent (Jan 26 2021 9:06AM) : Rumors more

Rumors can be a very evil thing and hurt a lot of people’s feelings. I have always wondered why people start rumors about others. Most of the time the rumors are not even true and serve no purpose. I wish people would find something better to do than start rumors about others.

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Jan 26
Hanna Ortiz (Jan 26 2021 9:08PM) : "We Spit Them Out" [Edited] more

Referring back to what Ciara has mentioned previously rumors are evil and hurtful to others. They knew the rumors and they were hurt by what were said about them but instead decided to “spit the rumors out” and ignore what was said about them because they are aware it is false. They kept pressing on.

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Jan 26
Maddy Chancey (Jan 26 2021 12:23PM) : They die soon more

This statement signifies her hopefulness to change the way that the First Nations are seen. I can sense her determination and readiness for this change.

soon.
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DMU Timestamp: November 12, 2020 20:50

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Jan 26
Paul Hankins (Jan 26 2021 8:28AM) : Gordon Henry Jr. of Big Rapids, Michigan (discovered and uncovered from the map at Living Nations, Living Words). [Edited] more

In Henry’s longer poem “River People—The Long Watch,” which operates on the stem, “When we were river people,” the poet offers a sort of nostalic history for the way his people were when they might have been seen as “spiritual and mythic.” The poem takes dramatic turns from the appreciation of nature to the want and need that come of circumstance and social-constructs. The connection back to Harjo’s piece is found in the final lines of Henry’s piece:

Crow knew just like you know now/a stone is no place for a watch/as you know what we call time/can’t be made up with words/lost, or remembered,or held down/

to earth,/ or be left behind/ by blessings, forgotten, or be any more/than a relative of light, who returns home,/as bright clear sun reporting all/that has gone between rising and falling.

In Harjo and Henry’s poems, this idea of teh “relative of light” calls to mind imagery from INVISIBLE SON that helps the reader to appreciate what…and who is illuminated when we come out into the sunlight and are both revealed and revered.

https://tile.loc.gov/storage-services/service/afc/afc2020004/afc2020004_15/afc2020004_15_ms01.pdf

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Jan 26
Ryan Emly (Jan 26 2021 8:30AM) : Connection more

I made a connection between this poem and “like any good indian woman” by Tanaya Wilder, who also talks about the struggles of Natives and their lack of recognition in the US. https://www.loc.gov/item/2020785246/

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Jan 26
Makenzie Harshey (Jan 26 2021 8:31AM) : CONNECTION to Heritage by Elise Paschen more

Paschen’s poem speaks to the history of the native population and the struggles they have gone through. Paschen speaks of the struggles from the times of her mother and great grandmother just as Harjo speaks of the longing for justice even after forty years.

https://tile.loc.gov/storage-services/service/afc/afc2020004/afc2020004_12/afc2020004_12_ms01.pdf

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Jan 26
Sarah Tucker (Jan 26 2021 8:40AM) : Alex Jacobs, St. Regis Mohawk Indian Nation, New York [Edited] more

In Alex Jacob’s “Trudell,” he explains how he needs to be strong for his people and those around him. At the same time though, he’s scared of what more horrible things could happen to his people or his family. Near the end of his poem, he criticizes society for never thinking history can be repeated or simply only caring about the money they can collect from reservation’s casinos. He wants to see history for indigenous people change, which is where Harjo’s poem comes in. At the end of her poem, she states, “forty years later and we still want justice.” The connection between the two poems proves a strong point that indigenous people are seeking for more rights and better lives but society holds them back.
https://www.loc.gov/item/2020785201/

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Jan 26
Christopher Crawford (Jan 26 2021 8:45AM) : Connection more

Layli Long Soldier writes about the “justice” her people were given in her poem Resolution 2. A resolution was written to Native Americans during president Obama’s administration in an attempt to fix all the injustices the Native Americans received. Solider’s poem uses words from Congress’s resolution to describe her feeling about this so called “justice”.

https://tile.loc.gov/storage-services/service/afc/afc2020004/afc2020004_29/afc2020004_29_ms02.pdf

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Jan 26
Savannah Kirchgessner (Jan 26 2021 8:47AM) : Mahealani Perez-Wendt more

Mahealani Perez-Wendt connects with “American Sunrise” because it is said that her poems are known for cultural sovereignty and offers a style that centers itself at a crossroads of struggle. This sentence I choose to compare it to suggests that they had to maintain and put a stop to their ancestors fights. They faced many struggles and crossroads while doing so, just like the Perez-Wendt’s poems covered. With her poems being available to people it is showing them tough times they have faced and what might be up ahead for others to keep fighting for. It shows that life is really not all that easy for them because they are fighting their ancestors’ fights. There are stories told by her from her struggles and accomplishments in her hometown.
https://loc.gov/item/2020785235/

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Jan 26
Hana Partipilo (Jan 26 2021 8:49AM) : Hoola Hand by Henry Real Bird [Edited] more
I found a connection between Joy Harjo and Henry Real Bird, the poet Laureate of Montana, who once rode his horse across Montana to hand out poetry books. While Harjo’s poem shares that the Native American people are still fighting for their representation and rights, Real Bird’s poem “Hoola Hand” continues that conversation. He writes about the beauty of Mother Earth, and hopefulness for peace at last.

https://arthurmag.com/2010/08/04/a-poem-from-henry-real-bird/

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Jan 26
Student Nicholas Losey (Jan 26 2021 8:51AM) : Jennifer Elise Forester more

Jennifer Elise Forester is featured on Joy Harjo digital map, a brief introduction reveals her people of Muscogee creek were part of the trail of tears. In Harjo’s poem “An American Sunrise” we can pull the phrase “our ancestors fights” this is a link between Harjo and Forester. Harjo calls attention to the fights many Native ancestors went through as a way to fill the gap.

Link
https://loc.gov/item/2020785221/

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Jan 26
Megan Ekart (Jan 26 2021 8:51AM) : Link to "Heritage" by Elise Paschen (discovered and uncovered from the map at Living Nations, Living Words). [Edited] more

Reading through “An American Sunrise” there was one line that stood out to me the most and that was, “We are still America.” This line makes me feel as though she knows that long ago her “kind” were not too excited to be living in “America”. I tied this to a piece by Elise Paschen, “Heritage”, and saw that she too says something along those lines. She talks about the white men killing Osage women and how “Indians were tied to the U.S.” This connect brings me back to history class when we learned about the trail of tears and other horrific events where the Indians were targeted. I feel like more in “An American Sunrise” the author pretty much says that they have been through a lot and things have been hard along the way but they are still here and they are going to stay here. This is their America too. https://tile.loc.gov/storage-services/service/afc/afc2020004/afc2020004_12/afc2020004_12_ms01.pdf

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Jan 26
Ciara Kent (Jan 26 2021 8:59AM) : Connection [Edited] more

I made a connection between this poem and the poem “Off-Island CHamorus” by Craig Santos-Perez. The two poems both mention their ancestors and the fights/war they are in. These two poems both go to show what one goes through in their life and how it is not always easy.
https://www.loc.gov/item/2020785208/

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Jan 26
Allen Voorde (Jan 26 2021 8:59AM) : Connection more

There is a connection between this poem and a poem by Linda Hogan called “Trail of Tears: Our Removal.” Hogan is a member of the Chickasaw tribe. Her poem is about her ancestors experience on the Trail of Tears. I found a connection between these two poems because they both deal with facing the overall same struggle, but are being faced in different ways. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/57881/trail-of-tears-our-removal

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Jan 26
student Anna Wright (Jan 26 2021 9:20AM) : connection [Edited] more

After reading “An American Sunrise” by Joy Harjo I made a connection with the poem “How to Write the Great American Indian Novel” by Sherman Alexie. In both of these poems the authors brought up Indian heritage. For instance, In Joy Harjo’s poem she talks about the struggles the Native Americans have had throughout American history and in Sherman Alexie’s poem he describes and illustrates how a Native American is stereotyped in America. Altogether, both of these poems express how Native Americans have had to face and overcome diversity in America.
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/52775/how-to-write-the-great-american-indian-novel

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Jan 26
Abigail Grimm (Jan 26 2021 10:16AM) : Jennifer Elise Foerster more

When looking through the map a few people caught my eye that could be directly connected back to Joy Harjo. However, Jennifer Elise Foerster stuck out to me the most. At first glance of her on the map I saw that she was a part of the Muscogee Creek tribe which is also the one that Joy mentions she is a part of in the pbs article. Jennifer wrote a poem called “NotesFrom Coosa” this poem getting its name from a story about tie-snakes that used to be told when she was growing up. I made many connections between Joy and Jennifer but the main was how their poetry reflected the passion they had for their “people”. Native americas have a different kind of culture and these two women have done a great job using poetry to expression important it is that the Native American culture stays alive. https://www.loc.gov/resource/afc2020004.afc2020004_21_ph01/

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Jan 26
Victoria Hargadon (Jan 26 2021 12:12PM) : Connection to Burn by Mark Turcotte [Edited] more

In Joy Harjo’s poem “American Sunrise,” I get the vibe that she is fighting to keep her Native American identity. She is in a minority group living in a world that ignores the issues that occur on the reservations in which these people were forced to move to. Mark Turcotte begins his poem with the line “Back when I used to be Indian,” like he has already lost that identity.
https://poets.org/poem/burn

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Jan 26
Madelynn Keinath (Jan 26 2021 12:16PM) : Tiffany Midge of Moscow, Idaho more

Tiffany Midge’s poem, “Antiquing with Indians,” has an ironic tone, as if making fun of the Native American branding of items. Companies and sellers have appropriated indigenous people, trying to describe their products using brand names related to their culture. Many brand names have changed and have been “retired,” though. This can be connected to Joy Harjo’s “An American Sunrise.” Towards the end of the poem, she wrote, “We know the rumors of our demise. We spit them out. They die soon.” The brands representing rumors of their culture were soon brought down from the shelves and renamed, or possibly retired. The company died out.https://www.loc.gov/item/2020785247/

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Jan 26
Jon Hurley (Jan 26 2021 12:26PM) : Alex Jacobs - Trudell [Edited] more

The poet I selected for my general comment was Alex Jacobs, a Mohawk visual artist, spoken word poet, and freelance writer that resides in New York. Before living in New York, he lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico for 27 years and continues to visit there to work on art and attend Indian art markets. The poem he read for the Living Nations, Living Worlds project was “Trudell.” This poem is a list poem in essence. Alex lists his own fears in the beginning, and they all involve his identity, something so basic and important. Without identity, people can become invisible. But he remarks that despite his own fears he is strong. Strong for his people, who all may be facing their own conflicts and issues in incredibly dire ways. He wants to be strong for those who struggle with their own identities and lives. He is strong because someone has to be strong for them, where much of society has not been. He refuses to lose his own identity and is strong for others no matter how gripping his own fears are.

This is in harmony with Joy Harjo’s message that indigenous people are still America, and they will not falter to rumors of demise. They will be strong for each other, and no identities will be lost to the fray.
https://www.loc.gov/item/2020785201/

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Jan 26
Jaclyn Emly (Jan 26 2021 12:29PM) : Jennifer Elise Foerster [Edited] more

While scanning through the Living Nations, Living Words map I connected many authors back to Joy Harjo. But one really stuck out to me, Jennifer Elise Foerster. the first connection I made was that they are both part of Muscogee Tribe. But their poems have similarities as well. In Jennifer Elise Foerster’s poem, she explains how her Native American culture is very important and needs importance brought to it. Joy Harjo’s poem discusses similar things as well. Both the authors also talk about how they are both America citizens and Native American citizens and both their cultures matter. They show through their poems that all culture matter and deserve to be honor with importance.
https://www.loc.gov/resource/afc2020004.afc2020004_21_ph01/

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Jan 26
Fiorella Padilla (Jan 26 2021 12:30PM) : Connection more

After reading “An American Sunrise” I made a connection the poem “Home and Homeless” by Elizabeth Woody. Woody is a member of the Confederate Tribe of Warm Springs in Oregon. Woody’s poetry reflects her close ties with her family, the natural world, and her people, a group she portrays with humanity and sympathy, just like Joy Harjo.

In the poem “Home and the Homeless” Woody describes through imagery, three different types of unwanted change; change with the people on the reservation, change in the culture on the reservation, and her own personal change.
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/53418/home-and-the-homeless

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Jan 26
Maddy Chancey (Jan 26 2021 12:43PM) : Connection between Joy Harjo's "American Sunrise" and Tifanny Midge's "Antiquing With Indians" [Edited] more

Both poems begin by displaying a sense of sadness. Joy Harjo’s sadness sticks with me until the last few lines, where she speaks of destroying the rumors surrounding these people. When this happens, I sense determination and readiness to make a change. In "Antiquing With Indians’ however, I can sense this determination right off the bat. After reading both of these poems, it is quite obvious that a serious change needs to be made. Credit needs to be given where credit is due. It is ridiculous to act as if they are below others when there are actions figures, costumes, characters, etc. portraying them as if we do not treat them poorly. Their lives cannot be used for others’ personal gain. We have to respect them and stop the selfishness. These poets wants justice, change, and respect. Their poets sends this message very clearly.

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Jan 26
Grahm Kerber (Jan 26 2021 2:19PM) : Connection between "An American Sunrise" and "Welcome Home Living Beings" more

After reading “Welcome Home Living Beings,” by Suzan Shown Harjo, I made a huge connection between it and “An American Sunrise”. If we read American Sunrise, we see repetition throughout the piece, just as Joy Harjo used repetition throughout her own. Typically, we see repetition when the author wants us to think about or recognize something in the piece. With Joy Harjo’s piece, we can see the repeated word, “we”. I think she’s using this to show it’s not only her narrative as an indeginous woman, it’s all indeginous people that aren’t being heard or treated properly. And we see a different kind of repetition scheme In Suzan Shown Harjo’s poem. There are entire stanzas where she repeats words or phrases. I think she’s doing this for a similar reason to Joy Harjo, to show that it is not one person that is perceived as this, it is an entire group of people.

And I see a connection between the themes of the poems. Joy Harjo is talking about the struggles of being an indeginous person. The history of her ancestors and war, while being assimilated to the ways of the white Europeans that were taking over the land. How she still felt a deep connection to her roots even though it has been frowned upon for so long. And Suzan Shown Harjo wrote about the roots of the indeginous people. How they are still hurting from the past and how they need to express their culture.

https://www.loc.gov/item/2020785244/

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Jan 26
Jarrett Garr (Jan 26 2021 3:17PM) : Connection to Thought by Henry Real Bird more

I made a connection between these poems they both seem to pull on and somewhat define what it means to be native in terms of connotations in history. The line “we were the heathens” in An American Sunrise, seem to run parallel to the line “We are but nomads asking for nothing But the blessings upon our Mother Earth.” in Thought.

https://tile.loc.gov/storage-services/service/afc/afc2020004/afc2020004_18/afc2020004_18_ms01.pdf

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Jan 26
Zachary Milton (Jan 26 2021 6:06PM) : Connection more

I made the connection between Joy Harjo and Jennifer Foerster. They are both from the same people (Muscogee). So, it’d be interesting as a reader to see similarities and differences in their works.

https://www.loc.gov/ghe/cascade/index.html?appid=be31c5cfc7614d6680e6fa47be888dc3&bookmark=Map

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Jan 26
Meredith Antz (Jan 26 2021 8:46PM) : "The Girlfriends" By: Elizabeth Woody [Edited] more

As I was scanning the map, I found myself selecting poets whose names appear closer to Indiana and ignoring the rest. The only reason I have for this method is maybe I was hoping to feel a sense of pride in the fact that Joy Harjo thought a poet from Indiana was worthy of being mentioned on her map. However, I ended up selecting Elizabeth Woody. Whose name pops up over by Washington and Oregon. Elizabeth Woody’s poems take inspiration from her family, the natural world, and her people. She is enrolled in the Confederate Tribes of Warm Springs Oregon and is a Navajo/Warm Springs/Wasco/Yakamaan.

While both Joy Harjo and Elizabeth Woody speak about their people and their culture. Joy Harjo explores feminism, politics; whereas, Elizabeth Woody speaks more towards sharing her culture and bringing awareness to their people’s history. Both poets speak on how their people have been impacted by recent and past events. However, it seems like Joy Harjo takes a more direct approach compared to Eliazbeth Woody. In the poem “The Girlfriends,” Elizabeth Woody references nature multiple times and hints back towards her culture. Personally, I feel like this has a different connection to Joy Harjo’s poem “An American Sunrise.” In “An American Sunrise,” Joy Harjo seems to compare her culture to that of the white settlers. It is subtle compared to Woody’s poem, but Joy Harjo does seem to talk elaborate upon her culture. The same happens in “The Girlfriends.” In Elizabeth Woody’s poem she talks about nature and how her culture respects nature and all it has to offer. Where Joy Harjo’s poem lashes out towards the white settlers’ culture, Elizabeth Woody’s poem offers reasoning behind Joy Harjo’s emotions.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/53419/girlfriends
(a link to the poem “The Girlfriends”)

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/elizabeth-woody
(Poetry Foundation overview of Elizabeth Woody)

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Jan 26
Student Trey Kaufman (Jan 26 2021 9:03PM) : CONNECTION to It Is Going To Rain by Ofelia Zepeda more

The connection I found was with poet Ofelia Zepeda
and her poem “It Is Going To Rain.” The connection was fairly easy and it is to the comment I posted above. In that comment I referenced stanza 6 talking about how people sweep things under the rug. Poet Ofelia Zepeda challenges this by explaining that there are always signs that the rug has something underneath. You won’t be able to hid under the rug forever.

https://tile.loc.gov/storage-services/service/afc/afc2020004/afc2020004_40/afc2020004_40_ms01.pdf

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Jan 26
Jessica Oltman (Jan 26 2021 9:11PM) : CONNECTION more

This poem reminds me of a poem i once read by Natalie Diaz named It Was The Animals which is about being raised Christian as a native person and how that makes her question her identity. It relates back to this poem where Christians are seen as the “enemy” more or less

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Jan 26
Emma Holland (Jan 26 2021 9:34PM) : Connection [Edited] more

I found my connection to Joy Harjo’s “American Sunrise” in “Welcome Home Living Beings” by Susan Shown Harjo. When reading Joy Harjo’s poem i was drawn to the line:
We/were heathens, but needed to be saved from the- thin/chance.
In history we are told of how early settlers tried to “save” the natives, but they only needed to be saved from the settlers themselves. And I found similar themes in Susan Harjo’s poem.
The line in particular that struck me was:
Yesterday, they were alone, many generations ago/Today, we welcomed home beloved Living Beings.
As is the case of many times throughout history when a people were treated with cruelty they were not seen as people. Natives were “savages” and were put in camps to save the man inside the “savage.” Both poems express the idea of being saved and being seen as savages or heathens rather than man, a living being.
https://tile.loc.gov/storage-services/service/afc/afc2020004/afc2020004_44/afc2020004_44_ms01.pdf
(Link to “Welcome Home Living Beings”)

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Jan 26
Hanna Ortiz (Jan 26 2021 9:35PM) : Connection: William Bearhart [Edited] more

In the ther little insert from “Living Nations, Livining Words” it mentioned that while this project was being created William had asked, “what does ‘place’ mean? Is it where we start? Where we end?” In his most recent poem ‘On the Backs of American Bison’ he mentions that the American people killed all of the bison causing him to find a new home and would steal the woves’ food while they weren’t looking. He ended the poem with " we have to survive somehow." Similar to “An American Sunrise” Joy Harjo felt as if the white settlers invaded their space and needed to be saved from them.
https://poets.org/poem/backs-american-bison

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Jan 26
Karisten Balmer (Jan 26 2021 9:38PM) : Susan Shown Harjo, Washington D.C. [Edited] more

In Susan Harjo’s work, “Welcoming Home Living Beings,” the author writes about welcoming the past and present. She invites home Native Americans’ history, occupations, and tomorrows. With everything they and their ancestors have gone through, Harjo reclaims it all and focuses the energy into the future.

In our work from today, poet Joy Harjo writes about fellow Natives as “still America.” In the last few lines of the work, our writer conveys the message that she and others will fight for the justice of their people.

These two works go hand in hand due to their bol manner. Susan Harjo’s piece references the Native American past and how she is reclaiming their history while Joy Harjo’s writing is more reminiscent on the tragedies themselves. The two together blend strong narratives with hope to create the resilience that keeps them pushing through.

Link to Susan Shown Harjo: https://tile.loc.gov/storage-services/service/afc/afc2020004/afc2020004_44/afc2020004_44_ms01.pdf

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Jan 26
Adren Cooper (Jan 26 2021 9:51PM) : Connection is to Advice to Myself by Louise Erdich. Both Harjo and Erdich bring the theme of doing what matters and not letting the bad things in. Erdich goes on about cleaning out all the useless energy, and Harjo talks about living more

with no more oppression.
https://www.loc.gov/item/2020785232/

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Jan 27
TJ Bagshaw (Jan 27 2021 12:04AM) : Connection [Edited] more

I made a connection to the poem “The River People – The Lost Watch” by Gordon Henry Jr. Both poems emphasize the heritage of the native americans. https://www.loc.gov/item/2020785215/

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