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This collection gathers poems from throughout Joy Harjo’s twenty-eight-year How We Became Human explores its title question in poems of sustaining grace. When Joy Harjo published her first chapbook The Last Song in , Native American How We Became Human collects poems from each of seven previous. How We Became Human has ratings and 35 reviews. This collection gathers poems from throughout Joy Harjo’s twenty-eight-year career, beginning in.

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Jan 31, James rated it it was amazing Shelves: I particularly enjoy the last stanza of “Skeleton of Winter” that brings up memory in relation to the neverending cycle of the world and life. Wr of the common themes that Harjo depicts, I believe her poetry is accessible to all readers, although, there are readers who will understand the multiple layers better than others. I wondered, reading this book, se there is a way for Harjo to remove herself in any way from her poems, especially as she has gotten older.

In other words, there are bits and pieces throughout the collection that I simply can’t relate to, but there are always those bits and pieces that I think anyone could relate to.

They also deliver a great deal of information on various Native American cultures and languages, which I found interesting. Nov 19, Mia Aguilera rated it really liked it.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. No trivia or quizzes yet. At her best, Harjo is my favorite Native American humwn and one of the American poets I’ve returned to most regularly over the years. It is a journey into the self, into politics, into heritage, and into sociology. What holds me back from a true appreciation of Harjo is the fact that she seems to cling far too much to her own presence in the text. Oct 10, Jennifer rated it liked it. Such a bleak interior landscape, reminiscent of the Badlands in South Dakota; yet if you are quiet enough, when the wind blows, spirits whisper their sacred secrets as you survey the desolation, much like Harjo’s voice in these poems.


In addition to this, the consistent themes of the poem, such as nature, birth, and death are all molded in various ways that are different enough to keep the reader constantly intrigued. She blends concepts like family and politics and environmentalism together humwn they’re so connected in her mind while also mixing genres that she sees as being connected in one way or another.

She lives in the Mvskoke Nation of Oklahoma.

While reading these poems, I had a sense of hearing a multiplicity of voices at once, a multiplicity which occasionally gave place to one identifiably Native American voice rising above the din of the other voices in Harjo’s head and in mine. To ask other readers questions about How We Became Humanplease sign up. This collection of Harjo’s poems opens with befame introductory essay that explains her emergence as a poet in the post-Wounded Knee revival of Native culture.

Lingering in the back of your mind for days as you slowly feel them out. Her work has spanned decades and genres, from music to poetry to memoir. Mason rated it it was amazing. Overall, “How We Became Human” is a text de incredible benefit – it lends insight into a community of writers that are still largely under-appreciated. Compassion is the first quality of a warrior, and compassion is why we are here, why we fell from the sky. How We Became Human explores its title question in poems of sustaining grace.

Apr 15, Sarah Hannah rated it liked it Shelves: We Were There When Jazz Was Invented, a musical story that proves southeastern indigenous tribes were part of the origins of American music.


How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems – |

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Joy Harjo is one of the most accomplished American poets alive today.

Crazy Brave, a memoir is her newest publication from W. Trying to describe Harjo’s form is incredibly difficult, as it has metamorphosed so many times in the thirty years that this book covers.

Awesome poetry about being Indian aka Native Americanbeing a woman, a mother, horses, nature, alcoholism, and more. One is not liberated if another is enslaved. They grapple with issues of colonialism and how to create an identity when the larger society is working against you.

How We Became Human

I have internalized many of the lines from Harjo’s poems, particularly one from “My House is the Red Earth,” when she speaks of a crow, saying “he perches on the blue bowl of the sky, and laughs” It is interesting and enjoyable to watch her poetry transform throughout her life. First strong image of Harjo as mother in this poem.

Anaphora is used several times. They speak often to the experience of Native Americans or of women.

I can’t put my finger on the specific passages that gave me this feeling since I had to return the book to the library yesterday, but they flashed upon me unexpectedly, l What I enjoyed most about the poems in this book was the Native American-ness of them.