Read She Had Some Horses by Joy Harjo Free Online
Book Title: She Had Some Horses|
The author of the book: Joy Harjo
ISBN 13: 9781560258308
Format files: PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT
The size of the: 19.29 MB
Edition: Seal Press
Date of issue: November 30th 2005
Reader ratings: 7.1
Loaded: 198 times
Read full description of the books She Had Some Horses:
Friday afternoon. I take a taxi to the Buenos Aires Airpark. On my flight to Uruguay I read She Had Some Horses, by Jay Harjo. The poems seem somehow familiar, something . . . I am trying to put my finger on it . . . yes . . . they remind me of poems I have read in workshops at university—there is nothing technically wrong with them, but there is nothing outstanding about them either. They evoke some imagery, but little emotion. My friend meets me at the airport and drives me to his home. That evening, after eating grilled lamb on a patio in back of his house, I gaze over what he calls a “backyard”, which is a hundred acres of rolling land surrounded by barbwire fence with a small herd of horses that graze on the grass. Once in a while one of the horses will take off running, and two or three will follow its lead, running, jumping in the air, kicking their hooves about, neighing like they are laughing, manes and tails flowing. Running about, it seems, just to run about—to have fun—to be happy to be alive. I note how gracefully horses move. How proud they stand when they stick their heads up from grazing to look about. That night, I read the book again. I begin to notice a subtle tugging from the poems, an evasive yet imperative beckoning. The next morning, I read the book a third time. The poems stun me. Each one dazzles me, has my full attention—like the way I notice a woman is beautiful and interesting in a way I did not on a first meeting with her, but upon a second and third encounter, moves me, enters me, will not leave me. One of the better poems in the book is ‘The Woman Hanging From the Thirteenth Floor Window’:
She is the woman hanging from the 13th floor
window. Her hands are pressed white against the
concrete molding of the tenement building. She
hangs from the 13th floor window in east Chicago.
with a swirl of birds over her head. They could
be a halo, or a storm of glass waiting to crush her . . .
The woman hanging from the 13th floor window
on the east side of Chicago is not alone.
She is a woman of children, of the baby, Carlos,
and of Margaret, and of Jimmy who is the oldest.
She is her mother's daughter and her father's son.
She is several pieces between the two husbands
she has had. She is all the women of the apartment
building who stand watching her, watching themselves. . .
She is the woman hanging from the 13th floor window
on the Indian side of town. Her belly is soft from
her children's births, her worn Levi's swing down below
her waist, and then her feet, and then her heart.
She is dangling.
The woman hanging from the 13th floor hears voices.
They come to her in the night when the lights have gone
dim. Sometimes they are little cats mewing and scratching
at the door, sometimes they are her grandmother's voice,
and sometimes they are gigantic men of light whispering
to her to get up, to get up, to get up. That's when she wants
to have another child to hold onto in the night, to be able to fall back into dreams.
And the woman hanging from the 13th floor window
hears other voices. Some of them scream out from below
for her to jump, they would push her over. Others cry softly
from the sidewalks, pull their children up like flowers and gather
them into their arms. They would help her, like themselves.
But she is the woman hanging from the 13th floor window,
and she knows she is hanging by her own fingers, her
own skin, her own thread of indecision . . .
The woman hangs from the thirteenth floor window crying for
the lost beauty of her own life. She sees the
sun falling west over the gray plane of Chicago.
She think she remembers listening to her own life
break loose, as she falls from the 13th floor
window on the east side of Chicago, or as she
climbs back up to claim herself again.
The image of the woman hanging by her fingertips on the window ledge is vivid. She is depicted metaphorically as EveryIndianWoman, but she could just as easily be EveryWoman, the poem is written that well. Every reader feels empathy with The Women, as do the spectators on the street below. Thusly, EveryOne is up on the ledge with The Woman, right beside her, or as her. The poem begins tragically but ends victoriously. There is hope to escape the fall from the ledge in the sense of self-reclamation. After all, hasn’t everyone been hanging from a ledge at least once in his or her life—at least some sort of a metaphoric ledge?
The rest of the poems are just as vivid as they are emotional.
As Published on Fox Chase Review
Read information about the authorBio Joy Harjo
Joy Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is a member of the Mvskoke Nation. She has released four award-winning CD's of original music and won a Native American Music Award (NAMMY) for Best Female Artist of the Year. She performs nationally and internationally solo and with her band, The Arrow Dynamics. She has appeared on HBO's Def Poetry Jam, in venues in every major U.S. city and internationally. Most recently she performed We Were There When Jazz Was Invented at the Chan Centre at UBC in Vancouver, BC, and appeared at the San Miguel Writer’s Conference in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Her one-woman show, Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light, which features guitarist Larry Mitchell premiered in Los Angeles in 2009, with recent performances at Joe’s Pub in New York City, LaJolla Playhouse as part of the Native Voices at the Autry, and the University of British Columbia. Her seven books of poetry include such well-known titles as How We Became Human- New and Selected Poems and She Had Some Horses. Her awards include the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas, and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. She was recently awarded 2011 Artist of the Year from the Mvskoke Women’s Leadership Initiative, and a Rasmuson US Artists Fellowship. She is a founding board member and treasurer of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. Harjo writes a column Comings and Goings for her tribal newspaper, the Muscogee Nation News. Soul Talk, Song Language, Conversations with Joy Harjo was recently released from Wesleyan University Press. Crazy Brave, a memoir is her newest publication from W.W. Norton, and a new album of music is being produced by the drummer/producer Barrett Martin. She is at work on a new shows: We Were There When Jazz Was Invented, a musical story that proves southeastern indigenous tribes were part of the origins of American music. She lives in the Mvskoke Nation of Oklahoma.
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