Summary Of Anchorage By Joy Harjo

834 Words4 Pages

The Immortal Native American Spirit Historically, groups of people have conquered other cultures, taking the products of that culture for themselves. It was not different with the colonization of the Americas, when entire tribes of Native Americans were wiped out. Not surprisingly, many descendants of Native Americans have felt sense of feeling lost and victimized. It is often believed that by killing so many Native Americans, the Native American cultures have also been lost forever. However, through the perseverance of the human spirit, despite the horrors that happened, there are people who continue to fight for the life of their culture. Two poems written by modern Native Americans, “Anchorage” by Joy Harjo and “I Am Singing Now” by Luci …show more content…

Once the colonizers came, the “boiling earth cracked open the street, threw open the town” (8-9). The land that once belonged to the Native Americans was snatched from them and turned into a completely new area. This act left many with the thought of their culture completely dying. People who give up and do not have hope for the survival of their culture may end up like the old woman the speaker describes: an “Athabascan grandmother, folded up, smelling like 200 years of blood and piss” (19-21). The old woman is incapacitated, which is physically representing her disbelief that her culture can pull through these hardships. She does not realize that her culture can still live …show more content…

In the poem, “I Am Singing Now,” by Luci Tapahonso, the speaker, a mother, is driving with her daughter asleep “in the back of the pickup” (5). The mother is singing a song that has been passed down to her from her father. This song can be traced back to when the Native Americans still lived in tribes. Even though the speaker is living in the modern world and driving a car in the streets, she is still willing to keep her traditions that she will pass down to her daughter. Not only is the song passed on, but the knowledge and the lessons that the speaker was taught are as well. All thanks to the woman’s father, who would sing Native American songs “into the fiber of [her] hair, into the pores of [her] skin, into the dreams of [her] children” (23-25). The father’s decision to pass on the tradition allowed for his culture to live

Open Document