MCC Daily Tribune
President's Wednesday Message
Last week, when Joy Harjo was named the next US Poet Laureate, history was made: she became the first Native American to hold this honorary title. A member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, Harjo is a widely published and anthologized poet whose writing draws on imagery and themes from indigenous culture. In interviews, she has spoken of her poems as works that both come from and have the ability to heal the soul--which is a wonderful way of thinking of all poetry. This "first" is definitely long overdue and worthy of celebration and recognition, so I wanted to share one of my favorite Joy Harjo poems, "Eagle Poem." It captures a vision of the "circles of motion" that are our lives, reminding us that life's beauty comes from opening ourselves to something greater and holding ourselves responsible for "the utmost care and kindness in all things."
by Joy Harjo
To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you.
And know there is more
That you can't see, can't hear;
Can't know except in moments
Steadily growing, and in languages
That aren't always sound but other
Circles of motion.
Like eagle that Sunday morning
Over Salt River. Circled in blue sky
In wind, swept our hearts clean
With sacred wings.
We see you, see ourselves and know
That we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.
Breathe in, knowing we are made of
All this, and breathe, knowing
We are truly blessed because we
Were born, and die soon within a
True circle of motion,
Like eagle rounding out the morning
We pray that it will be done
If you have a poem by Joy Harjo or any other poet to share for summer reading, please do so in the comments on the blog.
Office of the President