Remember when all you wanted to do was play with the older kids when you were young. Remember when you were young, you wanted to be a certain profession like a cop, teacher, doctor, sports player etc. Remember when you had dreams and aspirations as a child as what you would like to be like today. In the poem “Remember”, by Joy Harjo, Joy is conveying that everything from people, the environment, and our surroundings can be linked and connected to one another so no one should take things for granted.
That we should be respectful of the history and evolution of all living things. Everyone comes from different ethnicities, religions, backgrounds and are raised different than others. As a society as a whole we should think about and engage in our environment and remember where we came from. The sky, Earth, plants, minerals, animals, and vegetables all came from something else and where each thing came from is very important.
In addition, everybody and everything are equal and are worth the same value. Culture has a big impact on the society as being equal and having different views on different aspects of life. Usually when you remember something it’s because it has value and means something to that individual. On the contrary, someone can remember the bad things in life that have happened to them. Imagery, repetition, as well as figurative language can be used to explain Joy’s point on how everything in the world can be connected together.
A constant theme seen throughout Harjo poem “Remember” is imagery. Imagery means to use figurative language to represent objects, actions, and ideas in such a way that it appeals to our physical senses. Usually it is thought that imagery makes use of particular words that create visual representation of ideas in our minds. For example, in Harjo Poem she says, “Remember the earth whose skin you are; red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth, brown earth, we are earth.” This quote appeals to the sense of sight. This is trying to convey the message to the reader that you can see all the different types of ethnicities and each one is unique in its own way. You shouldn’t judge some else and discriminate them because of what they are and how they look. That everybody and everything shall and are equal, remember your beliefs your culture and who you are on the inside. Everyone should be treated equally no matter their ethnicity nor what they believe in. Everyone is connected somehow someway. In addition, another example can be when Harjo says, “Remember the wind. Remember her voice.” This is referring to sense of touch and hearing. This means to remember her voice because one day you will no longer be able to see and hear her special voice. You don’t want to forget how the wind feels and what her beautiful voice sounds like. Once you lose that special person you will never be able to hear or see him or her again. It’s devastating when you lose a close friend or lover of yours. That is why you should never take the memories with her or him for granted. Once that person is gone all you will have are memories so cherish them and connect them back to why they were in your life. There is a reason behind everything.
“Harjo also uses figurative language to relay a message of the poem. “Remember the sun’s birth at dawn.” The underlying meaning of this is to not take life for granted, because you don’t know when it’s going to end. Another way said is it can also mean to be grateful to wake up to another day as you have no idea when your time is going to come. It could be in five days from now or fifty years from now. Ultimately, we should be forever thankful that another day is dawning; that there is rebirth and hope and the chance to once again awaken one’s senses. Each new day brings another 24 hours to be the best you can be, it’s a gift. Grab ahold of it; don’t take it for granted! Another line that really caught my attention was, “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.” I came up with a conclusion that Harjo was trying to relay that without mother nature we wouldn’t be where we are today in the world; matter of fact there would be no life on this planet. We need plants, animals for food as well as trees to help us breathe with the oxygen they release. Also, this personification is saying to remember your families and the history that was passed down from generation to generations. Not only do we as people have histories, but so too do plants, trees and animals. Every living thing has evolved from something or someone and they all have a story to tell. Many times, I have hiked through Jockey Hollow with my Mom and we have had many conversations about how the Revolutionary War was perhaps even fought right on the land we walk. Some of the trees that we pass by could have been alive during that time, they were part of that history how amazing is that. Everything somehow, someway connects back to each other. Most importantly, though, is that our survival depends on the continued evolution of plants, trees and animal life. Nature is a huge part of life, and without nature it would be hard to breathe, eat healthy and strive to live your dream life.
Repetition in “Remember” is a major theme throughout. “Remember that language comes from this. Remember the dance that language is, that life is Remember.” Here, we have a saying where Harjo is relaying that life can be short so remember your ups and downs in life. Remember how you got through today and what path you took. Did anyone help you in your life? Remember them and even thank them for what they have done for you. You can never be too nice. Do one to others as you wish others did to you. You get out what you put in. Don’t judge a book by its cover is a famous saying and perfect example for this. “Remember that you are all people and that all people are you. Remember that you are this universe and that this universe is you. Remember that all is in motion, is growing, is you.” No matter how old you get you do the same things every day. You wake up, eat breakfast, shower, go on with the tasks within your day no matter how hard the struggles can be or how easy your day comes to be. Everything is repeated over and over each day. Repetitions can be found in almost everything, be it decorative patterns, nature or in people’s behaviors. The reason is by repeating things you do makes yourself more knowledgeable and skillful at these drills. In addition, you will eventually be able to perfect your craft in that specific drill, which will make yourself individually better as a whole. Now all of this connects back to football and your team somehow. By perfecting these movements and drills it will benefit yourself and put your team in a better position to win. This is why repetition is a huge part in everyone’s daily life. To get better at the things we struggle with. Repetition is not to repeat something to get better at it, but it is to repeat something to emphasize it to make it a distinct point and to get it into the readers head more.
Overall the theme of this essay is to connect back to the world how Harjo uses imagery, figurative language, and repetition. Now, all of these three main points are literary elements and often seen in writing and poems. Imagery is seen through the sense of sight and hearing in this poem. Figurative language is shown through the plants, trees, and family’s history as well as ethnicity and value. Next, we have repetition and how this poet keeps saying and reminding us to remember this, remember that, just to remember the important things in life. In addition to remember that “we are evidence of the Lord’s’ miracles and we are the key to the future. Everything we do connects to the next thing or back to something in the past.” Remember you are the person you make yourself. Remember to cherish your memories with that special loved one. Remember you are alive and born for a reason. The sky’s the limit! In this poem “Remember” All in all, this poem is just trying to get out of the reader to remember what you do in life, do not take anything for granted because you will never know what can happen or what will happen in your life positively or negatively.