The Woman Who Fell From the Sky

$13.00 each

+

Informed by her interest in jazz and by her North American tribal background, Harjo's writing draws from the realities of American culture, the concept of feminine individuality, and the Native American tradition of praising the land and the spirit.

Available in paperback only.  The Woman Who Fell From the Sky, by Joy Harjo.  1994, 69 pages.

One of this country’s foremost Native American voices, Joy Harjo combines elements of storytelling, prayer, and song in this, her fourth volume of poetry. Informed by her interest in jazz and by her North American tribal background, her writing draws from the realities of American culture, the concept of feminine individuality, and the Native American tradition of praising the land and the spirit.

Alongside her poetry, Harjo gives us a few personal paragraphs of insight: family history, further explanation of topics within the poem, her values, social commentary, or another story. In this way, we can see her work through our eyes and then through those of the author herself. These stories within a story exemplify Harjo’s gift for putting the human experience on paper, like seeing a good-looking Navajo man—once a friend—filthy and homeless on the street in “Mourning Song.”

In “A Postcolonial tale,” Harjo writes: “Every day is a reenactment of the creation story. We emerge from dense unspeakable material, through the shimmering power of dreaming stuff.” The poem flawlessly transitions into her commentary on the whiteman, education and guns, and back to creation. And in her own reflection, she explores a poet’s (poet is a word she believes is synonymous with truth-teller) responsibility to a world in suffering.

Harjo’s characters are modern warriors, and her poems read like battle cries and remedies for the Native struggle.

Joy Harjo is an enrolled member of the Muscogee Tribe and lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company
Culture Group: Muscogee