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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It doesn’t seem like an accident, her hanging off the ledge. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. How We Became Human: Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Hence my taking a long time after school was over to read the last twenty or so pages.

The poems will drop a first name, and then the notes will explain who the person is, and without the notes, it is impossible to feel much of the effect of the poem, or even to find its theme.

Several of these hit hard and close to home. Its diversity is one of the things that gives Harjo so much depth. Some of these poems stay with you.

Jun 04, E. Overall, the collection of poems is nothing short of impressive and should be an integral part of anyone’s bookshelf particularly if they have a fondness for the Southwest. She is a founding board member and treasurer of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. They also deliver a great deal of information on various Native American cultures and languages, which I found interesting.

She writes in the Notes which follow the poems in this book, of how she struggled as a beginning poet to cut out specific references to cities, brand names, events, historical figures, etc. And though her writing is personal, I think that it’s still relatable. They speak often to the experience of Native Americans or of women.


She Had Some Horses Distinct variation of poetic tools in this section. First strong image of Harjo as mother in this poem. I found myself drawn back to the middle, Harjo’s work in the 80’s and early 90’s was by far my favorite but there are gems throughout.

Harjo tackles relationships more in this section.

Feb 10, Patrick rated it really liked it Shelves: Aug 20, Vickie rated it it was amazing. 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 juman, but they flashed upon me unexpectedly, like fireflies, a surprise and a gift each time.

How We Became Human

This collection captures a huge swath of her career and serves as wonderful introduction to jo writing. The collection was finished in Septemberand the final poem is written about September 11, 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.

Jan 31, James rated it it was amazing Shelves: In this collection, Harjo generously takes you on her journey, leaving you with an ache that will surely inspire contemplation and continued reading of all of her writings. The earlier poems are more raw, as if she is finding her voice.

Feb 09, Riah rated it liked it Shelves: Though she won many awards for her memoir “Crazy Brave,” it seems almost wee if the self has become too prevalent in her works. Dec 07, Patricia McLaughlin rated it really liked it Shelves: The poems, which mainly focus on Native American life, particularly in the Southwest, is culturally specific yet accessible to a wide variety of audiences.

For example, even though I’ve never talked to crows and can’t relate to that experience, I have experienced “The Beczme of Never” in my own life, in that the things I think I’ll never agree to are welcomed into my life anyway.


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

How We Became Human explores its title question in poems of sustaining grace. Return to Book Page. At her best, Harjo hecame my favorite Native American poet and one of the American poets I’ve returned to most regularly over the years. 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.

Published January 17th by W. They This collection of Harjo’s poems opens with an introductory essay that explains her emergence as a poet in the post-Wounded Knee revival of Native culture. Over a quarter-century’s work from the winner of the Arrell Gibson Award for Lifetime Achievement. The first stanza does a great job of showing the strength needed.

Don’t know how I never heard of her before this, I liked her work almost as much as Billy Collins. Jul 25, J. 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.

Oct 24, Janna Patterson rated it liked it.

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

There is a stronger sense of narrative and characterization. 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 bevame one way or another. Harjo draws heavily on her own experiences and surroundings.