By Joy Harjo
Pleasure Harjo is a "poet-healer-philosopher-saxophonist," and probably the most robust local American voices of her new release. She has spent the previous 20 years exploring her position in poetry, tune, dance/performance, and artwork. Soul speak, track Language gathers jointly in a single entire assortment lots of those explorations and conversations. via an eclectic collection of media, together with own essays, interviews, and newspaper columns, Harjo displays upon the nuances and improvement of her paintings, the significance of her origins, and the hard reconstructions of the tribal previous, in addition to the dramatic disagreement among local American and Anglo civilizations. Harjo takes us on a trip into her identification as a girl and an artist, poised among poetry and tune, encompassing tribal history and reassessments and comparisons with the yankee cultural patrimony. She provides herself in an exquisitely literary context that's rooted in ritual and rite and veers over the sting the place language turns into song.
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Additional info for Soul Talk, Song Language: Conversations with Joy Harjo
Performance poetry is usually wrapped around narrative, word play with a big hit of sensationalistic techniques. Some of it can be quite stunning and amazing. Patricia Smith is someone who straddles written and oral. Often it’s poetry as testimony of the soul of these times. Much of it isn’t pretty or rarified, but most life here isn’t—I guess what I’m trying to say is that much of it appears to be urban, though the slam movement has made its way to the reservations, to Hopiland and Navajoland.
Practice singing and horn. And write music, poetry, and stories that always return me to the root source from those birthing places. I continue to feel that pull and connection to those lands which have nourished and challenged me on this journey. As I grow older those places grow larger and larger. It seems to me that there is an opening in your Hawai‘i poems to a greater sense of peacefulness and a feeling blessed by what is. Not that it wasn’t present in your earlier work, but it seems to flower forth here in these poems.
I love being able to carry books around and have them available for reading whenever I want—but something is lost here, the context, the voice, the performance. We get farther and farther away from each other with each step of so-called progress, yet, paradoxically we are brought together from far distances. But of course, the intent can get lost in context. Words are an expression of spirit—and poetry is written/spoken expression at its most distilled. Maybe in this country for most people the link has been broken between poetry and an individual’s intimate experience of poetry.