Poet Joy Harjo Reads a Thanksgiving Poem


bjbjVwVw P5?1O JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally tonight:
some words to celebrate what millions will be doing tomorrow, gathering around the table
to eat, talk, give thanks, and be together. They come from poet Joy Harjo, a member of
the Muscogee Creek Nation Oklahoma, and longtime teacher at the University of New Mexico. She’s
the author of seven books of verse and a new memoir titled “Crazy Brave.” Her poem is titled
“Perhaps the World Ends Here.” JOY HARJO, poet: The world begins at a kitchen table.
No matter what, we must eat to live. The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on
the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on. We chase chickens or dogs
away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it. It is here
that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we
make women. At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers. Our dreams
drink coffee with us, put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor
falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the kitchen table.
This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun. Wars have begun and ended
at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror, a place to celebrate the
terrible victory. We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial
here. At this table, we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse.
We give thanks. Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing
and crying, eating of the last sweet bite. JEFFREY BROWN: That was Joy Harjo reading
“Perhaps the World Ends Here. And if you’re hungry for more verse about eating, her poem
is included in a new anthology called “The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food and Drink.” It’s
edited by Kevin Young, another poet we featured in our regular coverage of poets and poetry.
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place JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally tonight: some words to celebrate what millions will be doing
tomorrow, gathering around the table to eat, talk, give thanks, and be together Normal
Microsoft Office Word JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally tonight: some words to celebrate what millions
will be doing tomorrow, gathering around the table to eat, talk, give thanks, and be together
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