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Foster Kleinstiver
Professor Newman
ENG 102
April 13, 2013
Eagle Song Poem Analysis
In “Eagle Song” an author named Joy Harjo uses an expanded metaphor that depicts a prayer to an eagle which explains how prayers are out of people’s control. This poem uses symbolism to depict the circle of life from the author’s abstract perspective. Joy starts off the poem by introducing the idea that prayers are carried out of people and into the “sky, to earth, to sun, to moon.” Despite the ability that humans have to pray to these four objects, it is impossible to their prayers to be answered; although some prayers may seem to be answered because opportunity for good fortune is a possibility. Joy reiterates her realization throughout that poem that “We are truly blessed because we were born, and die soon within a true circle of motion like eagle rounding out the morning.”

Joy beings her poem by explaining the significance of prayer and concludes it in a full circle ending with a metaphor connection a prayer to an eagle. This metaphor tells the story of how for every prayer, an eagle circles inside us. Joy’s selection of words is strong and therefore leaves the reader with a great feeling of thankfulness and a visual of an eagle carrying our prayers away from us and into the sky.

While reading “Eagle Poem”, the powerful expanded metaphor helps the reader realize that in reality when one prays, it is impossible to know the outcome until a future date. Joy’s “Eagle Poem” brings out the importance of prayer and connects prayers with the powerful visual of an eagle, in a dramatic scene that is caused by the metaphor. The reader will leave the poem with a generalized idea that even though their prayers may not be answered, it is important to pray for things that they may want to happen, because their outlook will be changed by internally acknowledging their needs or wants.
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