Friday, November 18, 2022

Poetry Friday: Thankful, thankful, thankful (and Joy Harjo)

Thanksgiving is on the horizon and I'm feeling so grateful for my family and for all that has transpired around our kitchen table over the years. 

At our table we have eaten, of course, but our kitchen table has been the heart of so much more. We have laughed there, yes. We have wept. We've discussed books and writing. We've spent time with our babies, our toddlers, our teens, our grown and beautiful daughters. We've considered cancer treatments, health changes, chronic illness, new ways of eating. We've discussed politics and surrealism. We have shared stories of friends, faith, art, history. We have pondered jobs and job changes, school and not-school. We have lived in our kitchen; if our table could speak, it would be overflowing with stories from the lives of the Edmistens. 

I'm so grateful for our kitchen table.  

U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo captures the essence of this core, this beating heart of our shared lives, in "Perhaps the World Ends Here." 

Here's to the kitchen table, and to the happiest of Thanksgivings. May your gratitude be overflowing. 

Perhaps the World Ends Here
by Joy Harjo 

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.

The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been
    since creation, and it will go on.

We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They 
    scrape their knees under it.

It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. 
    We make men at it, we make women.

(Read the rest here, at 


The Poetry Friday roundup is being hosted by the hostess with the mostest, Jama Rattigan. 

(Photo credit: Matthias Cooper, Pexels)


jama said...

Nice to reread this poem at this time of year. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Abby said...

Reading quickly through the beginning of what you wrote, without peeking ahead to the poem (obviously also without reading your post title carefully either..), I thought to myself - Oh, I should share Joy Harjo's poem about the kitchen table with her... :) I first encountered this one in college, and have loved it (and many others of hers) ever since. Thanks for bringing it back to the forefront of my mind! We have been on the hunt for a bigger table for our house (growing kids, growing family!). This is a good reminder of what an important role that table will have.

Linda Mitchell said...

Possibly one of my top ten favs. The universal truths are so strong. Thank you for sharing this poem today.

penelope said...

Ah, love Joy Harjo 🤗... and yes! The family table! If the wood could talk! My table was once my grandmother's ... Thanksgiving dinner always and only took place at her home, hosting the holiday was so important to her. Lovely memories, she was so dear to me. And it was the table which saw our daily homeschool bookwork and art and Morning Prayer for oh so many years ...

Happy Thanksgiving prep, Karen! And then! Advent!🙏🏽🕯

Sarah Grace Tuttle said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful poem. I do love gathering at the table... Happy Poetry Friday!

Karen Edmisten said...

Hope yours is grand, too, Jama!

Abby, you made me smile! Yes, this one is rich, as is so much of Harjo's work. May your new table, when you find it, serve you well. :)

Linda, I agree, and thanks for stopping by!

Penelope, what rich history your table has! (And how is Advent almost already here?)

Sarah, happy Poetry Friday and Happy Thanksgiving!

Linda B said...

Indeed, your own beginning is my favorite part, Karen, though the Harjo poem is lovely, too. Yes, the table holds our lives, doesn't it? Wishing you & your family a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Rose Cappelli said...

Such a beautiful post, Karen. The memories created around a table say so much about a family. And thank you for sharing Joy Harjo's beautiful poem. I wasn't familiar with it.

Michelle Kogan said...

Such a wonderful and touching poem, I love rereading it here, it always feels new. Your thoughts about your own kitchen table brought me back to happy thoughts of my father sitting around our table… Thanks Karen and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Karen Edmisten said...

Linda, thank you for such kind words! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving too.

Rose, thanks so much, and so happy to share this Harjo poem with you!

Michelle, here's to fathers at the kitchen table! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, too.

Patricia Franz said...

I love when the universe calls -- My sister sent me this poem earlier in the week, and now I get to enjoy it here, too. It resonates!!

Carmela Martino said...

Thanks so much for this beautiful post and wonderful poem. It's new to me and one I'll long remember.