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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How We Became Human | W. W. Norton & Company

Don’t know how I never heard of her before this, I liked her work almost as much as Billy Collins. Open Preview See a Problem? 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.

Oct 24, Janna Patterson rated it liked it.

Nov 22, maria rated it really liked it. I love the introduction when the author said to a group of indigenous people ‘hello, I thought John Wayne killed all of you’. Its diversity is one of the things that gives Harjo so much depth.

How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems – |

The collection was finished in Septemberand the final poem is harjoo about September 11, Poems and Tales The first poems in this collection feel safe. Harjo draws heavily on her own experiences and surroundings.

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.

Published January 17th by W. She Had Some Horses Distinct variation of poetic tools in this section.

I want more from writing than an examination of the self and the place of the self in communities. This collection represents her at her best and at her less best, which is still worth reading. I think Harjo was not confidant enough in her ability as a poet.

Over a quarter-century’s work from the winner of the Arrell Huuman Award for Lifetime Achievement. 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.


In addition to this, the consistent themes of the poem, wwe as nature, birth, and death are all molded in various ways that are different enough to keep the reader constantly intrigued. I found some individual poems in this book rather good, but thematically and as a whole, it felt inaccessible.

However, I feel huuman the endnotes are relied on too heavily to interpret the poems. Aug 30, Christina Hwrjo rated it really liked it Shelves: Trying to describe Harjo’s form is incredibly difficult, as it has metamorphosed so many times in the thirty years that this book covers.

First strong image of Harjo as mother in this poem. This is a phenomenal set of poems.

Dec 16, Jerry rated it really liked it Shelves: She is a founding board member and treasurer of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. But that’s a good thing. Mason rated it it was amazing. Feb 10, Patrick rated it really liked it Shelves: Crazy Brave, a memoir is her newest publication from W.

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.

There is a stronger sense of narrative and characterization. Jul 16, Abby rated it really liked it Shelves: For example, even though I’ve never talked to crows and can’t relate to that experience, I have experienced “The Power of Never” in my own life, in becaem the things I think I’ll never agree to are welcomed into my life anyway. Some of these poems stay with you. Books by Joy Harjo.

It is a journey into the self, into politics, into heritage, and into sociology. Women are struggling to find balance within place. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Aug 02, Craig Werner rated it really liked it Shelves: To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Secrets from the Center of the World It’s interesting to see a poet’s work evolve over time.


The United States Of America. Though Harjo does write about motherhood and the marking of the female body, much of it is still inscribed with her own presence in any of the moments that are depicted. Aug 20, Vickie rated it it was amazing. Joy Harjo’s poetry applies the richness of Native American myth to the often bleak conditions of modern America and its downtrodden minorities, including those of Native American ancestry, struggling to find hope and redemption.

The endnotes are entertaining, telling stories ranging from poets getting wasted and waking up in the wrong places to tragic injustice and early death. How We Became Human explores its title hxrjo in poems of sustaining grace. Prolly the coolest Native Writer I’ve met. While reading these poems, I had a sense of hearing a multiplicity of voices at once, a multiplicity which becqme gave place to one identifiably Native American voice rising above the din of the other voices in Harjo’s head and in mine.

Paperbackpages. Sep 29, Julianne rated it liked it Shelves: 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.

How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems 1975-2002

We Were There When Jazz Was Invented, a musical story that proves southeastern indigenous tribes were part of the origins of American music. Refresh and try again. They also deliver a great deal of information on various Native American cultures and languages, which I found interesting.