Rising and Falling by Joy Harjo
Human poetry is a restless soul
And does not always know what it holds,
When it is regaling beloved guests at a table
Graced with food and drink. What
Songs of tempestuous rising and falling,
One country after another.
Harjo, Joy. “An American Sunrise: Poems.” W. W. Norton & Company.
I love this poem by U.S. Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo! It is from her latest book, “An American Sunrise,” published in September 2019. It is available for purchase from Amazon here.
I think it captures something about writing poetry (and reading it) that says something about the human condition. It says something about the rise of nations and civilization.
There is an uneasiness, a fear, an insecurity in existence and also a cyclic rhythm of life and death. Together these things oftentimes make up the human experience.
This poem captures that with ease, concisely pointing to that feeling.
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