Nov 8 – – “Perhaps the world ends here” – – – U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo

Friday, November 8,   “Our dreams drink coffee with us”

Sometimes I get so busy that being behind on tasks distracts me from beauty.  That’s a shame.   Like great poets anywhere, Joy Harjo often lets strong language find her . . . in turn, she helps that language find readers, often readers in improbable places.  That’s what the institution of naming Poet Laureates is; the women and men who labor to sift a season’s great voices to engage human listeners, to bring listeners to a stop, stirs the heart and restores the worn imagination.

Best to read the poem out loud, with pauses.    Perhaps, too, to lift your head high and breathe more deeply for a while.  Our university celebrates Faculty Excellence tonight, in the Ballroom.   Faculty who reach to stretch the souls of students and fellow faculty can make my spirit sing.   Yours too,  I’d bet.

Have a blest weekend.

john sj

Today’s Post  —  “Perhaps the World Ends Here”  

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 as they 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 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.

“Perhaps the World Ends Here” from The Woman Who Fell From the Sky by Joy Harjo.
Copyright © 1994 by Joy Harjo. Used by permission of W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.,

This entry was posted in Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.