I am glad to be joining Poetry Friday this week, hosted by Library Matters. We have just recently launched our new reading theme on witches, goddesses, dryads and priestesses. I thought it would be fitting to have the Priestess of Poetry, Joy Harjo, be our first featured poet.
Crazy Brave (Amazon | Book Depository)
A Memoir Written By Joy Harjo
Published by W. W. Norton Company (2013, first published 2012)
ISBN: 0393345432 (ISBN13: 9780393345438) Literary Award: American Book Award (2013)(2016). Bought my own copy. Book photos taken by me and edited with an iPhone app.
I read this memoir during the beginning of the year. I recall being absolutely riveted by Joy Harjo’s voice: suffused with truth, courage, divinity. There is an utter simplicity to her writing that makes even the most painful experiences accessible, an invitation to enter her spirit embodied in lyrical language: silky phrases, strewn with stars, lilting with the illuminated secrets of the universe, revealed.
I find that as I grow older, I have little patience for the esoteric, the elite ivory-tower intellectualism devoid of warmth; the vulnerability masked by an attempt to sound smart, remote, and above it all. Joy Harjo strips away all that nonsense by speaking her unvarnished truth, her courage shimmering with psychedelic colours that can be smelled, felt, touched.
The post-its in my copy above indicate just how deeply I valued Joy Harjo’s wisdom. There is something otherworldly in the manner in which she perceived her ‘gift,’ her ‘knowing,’ that is transcendent. Our priestess/shaman theme is perfect for the struggles that she had to endure as she came into herself:
Her life experiences, however harrowing, opened up a well of artistry that is unparalleled, easily discernible, and draws people in, like a gravitational pull, attracted by the stars that she sprinkles into her poetry, her music, her prose.
My Poetry Friday offering, fellow bibliophiles, is this poem that she shared somewhere at the end of her memoir. It was a purging of sorts, yet it sounded like a benediction, an offering, a prayer. Here it is. I hope it finds you at the perfect moment. I took a photo of the pages in my book and edited it using an iPhone app.
#WomenReadWomen2019: United States of America