1 Analysis Of The Dawn Appears With But

1501 Words Nov 21st, 2014 7 Pages
Introduction Native American writer Joy Harjo has crafted a poem, “The Dawn Appears with Butterflies,” that is both a song of mourning and a song of joy. This paper analyzes her poem.
Because the poem is long, it won’t be quoted extensively here, but it is attached at the end of the paper for ease of reference. Instead, the paper will analyze the poetic elements in the work, stanza by stanza. First, because the poem is being read on-line, it’s not possible to say for certain that each stanza is a particular number of lines long. Each of several versions looks different on the screen; that is, there is no pattern to the number of lines in each stanza. However, the stanzas are more like paragraphs in a letter than
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The next stanza begins with possibly the most wonderful line in the poem, which speaks to personal survival, joy, and the continuation of life: “You laughed with the spirit of your husband who would toss stars!” (Harjo). Here Harjo uses the metaphor again, this time to compare the widow’s tears to a butterfly, which is both beautiful and fragile. But here, because of the Butterfly Dance, it takes on a special meaning, bringing their daughter into the circle of death and rebirth. The next stanza says there is “no tear in the pattern. It is perfect, as our gradual return to the maker of butterflies…” (Harjo). This says that the young man’s death was not meaningless but was part of God’s plan, which is always perfect; furthermore, we all return to him. In the next lines, we learn that the widow wants to bury him in a shirt she bought for him, but which he always hated; the argument, now continuing after death, makes everyone smile (Harjo). The next stanza concerns singing, which has a power of its own. But this singer respects “the power of the place without words” (Harjo). This is another rather curious construction, and it sets up the rest of the poem. There is a power in the idea of place; it’s possible to feel it in places like Stonehenge and the Grand Canyon. There is

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