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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Harjjo “How We Became Human,” Harjo presents work from her vast oeuvre, presenting the reader with the chance to better understand the evolution of her style and her very self. It is a journey into the self, into politics, into heritage, and into sociology.

What Moon Drove Me to This? However, this urge to create poetry from the ingredients closest and most familiar to her gives a sense of intimacy and authenticity to her poems. Hence my taking a long time after school was over to read the last twenty or so pages.

Aug 16, Billimarie rated it really liked it. I would have just appreciated more of the sociopolitical side and less of the presence of Harjo herself. Poems are short, around 4 stanzas long.

How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems by Joy Harjo

Overall, though, this is a strong collection, and I would recommend it to anybody who is interested in contemporary poetry as a whole and Native American poetry specifically. Great look on what it would be like to experience double marginalization as an indigenous woman. Annotations The Last Song Lots of nature imagery. It is longer, has sections, and is for her father.

As she states in the introduction, “There is no separation between poetry, the stories and events that link them, or the music that holds all together, just as there is no separation between human, animal, plant, sky, and earth.

Nov 19, Mia Aguilera rated it really liked it. I know it and have dreaded the knot of memory as it unwinds in my gut. The reader encounters many different styles and structures of poetry, creating the sense that the text imi Harjo’s collection of poetry, which spans over almost thirty years of her career, is impressive, not only in its density, but in the richness of the text.


HOW WE BECAME HUMAN: New and Selected Poems: 1975–2001

She lives in the Mvskoke Nation of Oklahoma. She blends concepts like family and politics and environmentalism together because they’re so connected in her mind while also mixing genres that she sees as being connected in one way or another. Beautiful and wide ranging. This collection captures a huge swath of her career and serves as wonderful introduction to her writing.

We Were There When Jazz Was Invented, a musical story that proves southeastern indigenous tribes were part of the origins of American music. I appreciated the way that Harjo described the sensation of togetherness with communities across the United States, the way she painted a portrait not just of the people, but of the places, and of the being there. Other poems from the same original chapbook show an appreciation of her heritage and are informed by her participation in the Kiva Club, where its members sought to give voice to Indigenous peoples.

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. The endnotes are entertaining, telling stories ranging from poets getting wasted hpw waking up in the wrong places to tragic injustice and early death. Because 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.

Trying to describe Harjo’s form is incredibly difficult, as it has metamorphosed so many times in the thirty harmo that this book covers.

Jan 31, James rated it it was amazing Shelves: No trivia or quizzes yet. They grapple with issues of colonialism and how to create an identity when the larger society is working against you. Feb 10, Patrick rated it really liked it Shelves: It doesn’t seem like an accident, her hanging off the ledge.

The collection was finished in Septemberand the final poem is written about September 11, She Had Some Horses Distinct variation of poetic tools in this section. 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 becsme, but they flashed upon me unexpectedly, l What I enjoyed most about the poems in this book was the Native American-ness of them.


I love the tongue and cheek pun on how the mainstream culture tends to antiquate their culture from the influence of Hollywood. It’s a shame that Harjo hoe quite live up to her influencer’s skill.

Focus on the wind, silver, mountains. I don’t know much about poetry, except that I like it when I like it, and I especially liked the cadence of phrases, the rhythm of the lyrics, and the way she arrived at the ending of things, so that the last words would ripple within me, like a stone dropped into a pond would ripple all the way to the edges.

There is a great deal of beauty in this collection. Books by Joy Harjo. Compassion is the first quality of a warrior, and compassion is why we are hman, why we fell from the sky. Apr 15, Sarah Hannah rated it liked it Buman Some of these poems stay with you. Many of the poems are strong in form and have a song-like rhythm. This is a phenomenal set of poems.

This collection of her work spans over thirty years; the reader can see Harjo’s transformation as both a writer and a person, as her writing is highly personal.

Sep 29, Julianne rated it liked it Shelves: Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Please read She had some horses separately and judge for yourselves!

How We Became Human

At her best, Harjo is my favorite Native American poet and one of the American poets I’ve returned to most regularly over the years. Overall, “How We Became Human” is a text with incredible benefit – it lends insight into a community of writers that are still largely under-appreciated.

Don’t know how I never heard of her before this, I liked her work almost as much as Billy Collins. My opinions on this could be largely informed by my own taste. May 04, B.

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