May 9th Birthday Love: Joy Harjo

Joy Harjo

Today we celebrate writer and musician Joy Harjo, current U.S. poet laureate, and the first Native American poet laureate. Harjo was born on this day May 9, 1951 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

Don’t Bother the Earth Spirit

“Don’t bother the earth spirit who lives here. She is working on a story. It is the oldest story in the world and it is delicate, changing. If she sees you watching she will invite you in for coffee, give you warm bread, and you will be obligated to stay and listen. But this is no ordinary story. You will have to endure earthquakes, lightning, the deaths of all those you love, the most blinding beauty. It’s a story so compelling you may never want to leave; this is how she traps you. See that stone finger over there? That is the only one who ever escaped.”

-Joy Harjo, from Secrets from the Center of the World (1989)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: