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In "Remember" by Joy Harjo, what does the poem mean?

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sandylye | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted November 3, 2010 at 8:24 AM via web

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In "Remember" by Joy Harjo, what does the poem mean?

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epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted November 3, 2010 at 8:26 AM (Answer #1)

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“Remember” relies on anaphora, or repetition. The speaker uses the word “remember” fifteen times in the poem, which might therefore be considered a poem or catechism of gratitude for life and all that it offers. The speaker is a person who connects present existence with past existence, even before those who are now alive were alive. The listener is a person, probably younger than the speaker, who is benefiting from the insights and wisdom of the speaker, who is, in effect, a seer with oracular powers. The implication of the ideas in this poem is that our perception of the universe is an endless continuum that began before our birth and will continue beyond our lives.

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