Metaphorical Meaning of "Eagle Poem"

English 102
June 7, 2013
Metaphorical Meanings: Eagle Poem
Within the context of the Eagle Poem, the reader is treated to a dazzling array of metaphorical meanings. Eagle Poem makes use of a device called an extended metaphor. A metaphor is basically a figure of speech that describes an object, idea, person etc., as if it were something else. Moving through the poem, an individual can view varied usages of nature and the eagle to draw the reader into the authors’ spiritual point of view.   Joy Harjo, a Native American poet, takes her inspiration from Creek beliefs, via the use of iconic imagery that melded with poetic metaphor gives us a soaringly beautiful piece of poetry. Joy Harjo’s biography and explanation of her beliefs can be found at Poetry Foundation web site
Harjo’s peom clearly demonstrates how she is a metaphorical poet due to her use of figurative animalistic and nature based characters as opposed to the first person vehicle usages of a confessional poet whose works tend to be personally emotive rather than introspective. A reader can easily see this by comparing Skunk Hour by Robert Lowell, who is a confessional poet, which while descriptive is still a self involved work. It lacks the instructive metaphor that is employed by Harjo. Lowell’s poem can be found on page six hundred and two, our assigned textbook.
Taking a look at her metaphorical usages one should study the opening ten stanzas to see how Harjo uses the idea of “circles of motion” (p. 492) to mean prayer. Harjo uses the starting
ten versess, (page four ninety one in the textbook), to evoke the reader to prayer via opening themselves “to sky, to earth, to sun to moon To the one voice that is you.”(Lines one-three)
Harjo uses the imagery of everything that is surrounding the reader as a metaphor for a Supreme Being. The reader needs to take in what is around them and communicate with it and stand in awe of it. The second five lines speak of knowing...