Discussion #1: Long-Soldier | Excelling Homework
For most of our discussion posts, you will post your response and then respond to TWO other people’s posts. (attachments)
Please read the following 3 texts and write a ~300 word response.You’re welcome to respond using any of the guiding questions below. You can also bring up your own thoughts and questions.
You do not need to answer all of the questions.
Your response should demonstrate a thoughtful engagement with the texts.
Your two responses to other students should be at least ~75 words and engage with their ideas–perhaps they brought up a new perspective or understanding of the text that you’d like to say more about, or perhaps they posed a question about something they were curious or confused about that you’d like to respond to. You’re welcome to disagree or contradict, but do so respectfully and carefully.
Layli Long Soldier, “Beyond Language” Interview with Joy HarjoLayli Long Soldier, “38”Amal El-Mohtar, “Anabasis””Beyond Language” Interview
In Layli Long Soldier’s interview with Joy Harjo, the two talk about what it’s like to be contemporary Indigenous poets writing in English in the U.S.
What stands out to you in this interview?
Harjo talks about her sense of responsibility as a poet. What is she writing about and bringing attention to? Who is she writing for?
What do you think of when you consider the generations before you and the similarities and differences you have? Who are you in conversation with through the past decades and centuries? This could be related to family, culture, artistic practice, etc.
“38”Layli Long Soldier’s “38” is about the 38 Dakota men who were hanged under orders from President Lincoln in 1862.
What do you notice about the structure and style of Long Soldier’s poem? Describe some of her techniques–for example, she constantly provides definitions/explanations of words.
You may notice that Long Soldier’s poem is quite formal. Why do you think she refuses to write in a more casual or “poetic” style?
What do you think she might be saying about standard English language, structure, and grammar?How does it relate to colonization, deceptive treaties written in English, and U.S. acts of genocide against Indigenous peoples?
If you are unfamiliar with this history, here is a resource with extensive timelines of colonization’s impacts on Indigenous groups across the so-called Americas. Here are examples from 1819, 1879, 1897 , and 1915.
Amal El-Mohtar’s “Anabasis” confronts borders, language, and how to shapeshift when one’s body is treated with suspicion.
Is “Anabasis” a poem? A prose piece? (Standard paragraphs would generally be considered prose.) Something in-between? What do you notice about how it’s written and how it looks on the page?
El-Mohtar uses metaphor to describe the many things a mouth can be. What meanings and associations do these metaphors bring up? What do you think she is saying about the mouth(s) and how they relate to identity, the body, borders, family, and language?
What does anabasis mean? How does it relate to El-Mohtar’s piece?
“I am a shapeshifter. Most people are.” Do you have to shapeshift to survive, be or feel accepted, or have access to certain spaces or people? Take notes for yourself about what “Anabasis” brings up for you.