New_Orleans_by_Joy_Harjo_(Notes) (1).docx - New Orleans by...

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New Orleans by Joy Harjo (Notes) Background : Following violent resistance to the encroachment of white settlers by some Creeks, President Andrew Jackson began a process of government-sponsored removal of Creek people that continued until 1837. Many Creeks were taken by ship to New Orleans and then overland to Oklahoma. On their way west, the Creeks endured heavy rain and extreme cold. Other Creeks boarded ships in New Orleans and were taken up the Mississippi River. On this journey, one steamboat was stuck by another ship, and approximately 300 Creeks died. Between 1827 and the end of the removal in 1837, more than 23,000 Creeks emigrated from the Southeast. When poets write about historical events, they do not usually narrate the events as a historian would; instead, they allude, or refer briefly, to events to evoke images, ideas, and feelings. In “New Orleans,” Harjo refers to a few different historical events that are closely related to the themes that she is developing in her poem. (Repeated words and ideas are a clue to theme.) An image is a word or phrase that appeals to one or more of the reader’s senses. Images bring poems to life by evoking certain thoughts and feelings in the reader. Poets choose images carefully in order to reinforce their themes. Blue horse creates the effect of emphasizing the frozen nature of the statue Red rocks creates the effect of making the blood-red rocks seem alive This poem places short, apparently unrelated sentences next to each other. By using this technique, the poet hopes to lead the reader to make inferences about how the sentences relate to one another.
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