by Joy Harjo
Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star's stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is.
Remember the sun's birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. Remember sundown
and the giving away to night.
Remember your birth, how your mother struggled
to give you form and breath. You are evidence of
her life, and her mother's, and hers.
Remember your father. He is your life, also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,
listen to them. They are alive poems.
Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the
origin of this universe.
Remember you are all people and all people
Remember you are this universe and this
universe is you.
Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember language comes from this.
Remember the dance language is, that life is.
'Remember' reproduced from She Had Some Horses: Poems by Joy Harjo (c) 2008 by Joy Harjo. Used with permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
Poem as Friend to Rachel Eliza Griffiths
- by Joy Harjo
In this episode, Rachel Eliza Griffiths talks about the poem that has been a friend to her – Remember by Joy Harjo.
Rachel Eliza visited The Poetry Exchange 'long distance' in an online conversation between London and New York. She is in conversation with The Poetry Exchange team members, Michael Shaeffer and Fiona Bennett.
We are very grateful to Rachel Eliza for allowing us to share the conversation with you, and to Joy Harjo and W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. for their permission to feature 'Remember.'
'Remember' can be found in She Had Some Horses: Poems by Joy Harjo, 2008, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. www.wwnorton.co.uk/books/978039333…had-some-horses
Rachel Eliza Griffiths is a multi-media artist, poet, and writer.
Her literary and visual work has been widely published in journals, magazines, anthologies, and periodicals including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The New York Times, Poets & Writers, Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry, Best American Poetry 2020, and many others.
Griffiths is widely known for her literary portraits, fine art photography, and lyric videos. Her extensive video project, P.O.P (Poets on Poetry), an intimate series of micro-interviews, gathers nearly 100 contemporary poets in conversation, and is featured online by the Academy of American Poets.
Griffiths is the author of Miracle Arrhythmia (Willow Books 2010) and The Requited Distance (The Sheep Meadow Press 2011). Griffiths’ third collection of poetry, Mule & Pear (New Issues Poetry & Prose 2011), was selected for the 2012 Inaugural Poetry Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Her most recent full-length poetry collection is Lighting the Shadow (Four Way Books 2015), which was a finalist for the 2015 Balcones Poetry Prize and the 2016 Phillis Wheatley Book Award in Poetry.
Her forthcoming collection of poetry and photography, Seeing the Body, will be published by W. W. Norton in June 2020.
Remember is read by Fiona Bennett.
ABOUT THE POETRY EXCHANGE
We talk to people about the poem that has been a friend to them.
In exchange we create a gift for them, a bespoke reading of their chosen poem inspired by the conversation. Our award-winning podcast shares these unique and powerful stories of connection with people across the world.
We set up an intimate environment for these conversations at festivals, in arts, cultural and public spaces across the country. We also hold exchanges ‘long distance’. Our visitors come from all walks of life and we also feature well-known personalities such as Andrew Scott, Maxine Peake, Roy McFarlane and Paterson Joseph.