Caroline Kennedy Shares Joy Harjo

Caroline Kennedy has done so much to promote the arts in our country. I am sure her father encouraged her, but most of the inspiration and love for the arts came from her mother. Caroline has put together five poetry anthologies celebrating the art of poetry. ( note: The Patriot's Handbook and A Family Christmas also includes songs, stories and speeches)Each time I look through one of my copies, I love the photos of her sitting reading with her mother, or posing in a chair reading to her teddy bear, or sitting side by side with her father. There is not a poem in all the volumes I don't love. It is hard to pick a favorite to share. I chose the following from her latest collection "She Walks In Beauty, A Woman's Journey Through Poems".

Eagle Poem

To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you.
And know there is more
That you can’t see, can’t hear;
Can’t know except in moments
Steadily growing, and in languages
That aren’t always sound but other
Circles of motion.
Like eagle that Sunday morning
Over Salt River. Circled in blue sky
In wind, swept our hearts clean
With sacred wings.
We see you, see ourselves and know
That we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.
Breathe in, knowing we are made of
All this, and breathe, knowing
We are truly blessed because we
Were born, and die soon within a
True circle of motion,
Like eagle rounding out the morning
Inside us.
We pray that it will be done
In beauty.
In beauty.
Joy Harjo, “Eagle Poem” from In Mad Love and War. Copyright © 1990 by Joy Harjo. Reprinted with the permission of Wesleyan University Press,

I am also pleased I found this again tonight because I feel strongly it is a poem my students will connect to when we return to school Monday.


  1. Such a beautiful selection you made.

  2. I appreciate the book list --- I have read none of them but know I would enjoy them.

    The poem was beautiful. Thank you!


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