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A Map to the Next World: Poems and Tales

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  255 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
In her fifth book, Joy Harjo, one of our foremost Native American voices, melds memories, dream visions, myths, and stories from America’s brutal history into a poetic whole.
Paperback, 144 pages
Published March 17th 2001 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 2000)
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Jan 12, 2009 Jessica rated it liked it
Full of sincerity and reverence for the world, this book is a good reminder to be grateful. It is also necessary for someone to be constantly reiterating the politics and history recounted in the book. That said, there is virutally no artisitic or literary merit to the writing in this book. My guess is that the author's response to such a comment would be that I am mired in the language of "the enemy." I'm willing to consider that possibility.
Kivrin Engle
Nov 22, 2013 Kivrin Engle rated it it was amazing
Adrienne Rich wrote of this book, "I turn and return to Harjo's poetry for her breathtaking, complex witness and for her world-remaking language: precise, unsentimental, miraculous." And, I whole-heartedly agree.

Joy Harjo is a visionary, a fierce story-telling warrior woman. Her writing is holy, insightful, contemplative, honest and graceful. I will turn and return to Ms. Harjo's poetic prose also.
Dec 17, 2016 Paul rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
In A Map to the Next World Joy Harjo's poems and tales bear beauty and grace amidst tragic witness to Native American history and identity.

"Instinct" (16)

"In the dark I travel by instinct,
through the rubble of nightmares,
groaning of monsters toward the crack of light
along your body's horizon.
I roll over to my side, take you in my nostrils
test you for shape, intention and food
as nations fall apart.
Small winds tattoo my cheek.
Soon they will bring mist,
a small rain to clean the world
send rainbows t
Dec 17, 2016 Greta rated it it was amazing
Joy Harjo shows tremendous skill in her essays and poetry, and great effort. Telling much of her personal story as well as that of those closest to her, her words resonate most pleasantly and sometimes startle. A Map To The Next World is a masterpiece.
Jan 02, 2013 Abby added it
This is one of those books full of almost-great lines, which distract me as I rewrite them in my head. That doesn't necessarily make a bad book or a lazy writer, but it sure doesn't increase my enjoyment.

Among the almost-greats is some truly beautiful poetry, "spirits who allowed themselves to be kept in a song or story as food/ through the longest seasons of brutality." Much of it doesn't need the explanation of the "tales" that follow, which are a little self-indulgent. Perhaps I'll try anoth
Tracy E.
Oct 13, 2011 Tracy E. rated it liked it
I've read two other Harjo books and really enjoyed them, so I was a bit disappointed with this one. Everything in this book follows a similar set of themes. There are some very nice moments, but no where near on par with some of the sharp truths and insights in some of her other works. The kind of insights I had to read over and over again because of how wonderful they are. I found myself re-reading very few things in this one. The writing itself is fine, it just isn't as emotionally moving as o ...more
Louise Chambers
Nov 21, 2008 Louise Chambers rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: poets and readers of poetry
Recommended to Louise by: I've been reading Harjo for years
Shelves: poetry, politics
Harjo always asks me to do more than read; she asks me to participate. A Native American woman who has lived in many worlds writes hauntingly of personal history and of History, the History which may not be as pleasant as we might like it to be. What saves the poems is the language, fine and dancing, and always connected to the heart.
Aug 21, 2013 Naomi rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Joy Harjo is among the two dozen poets I turn to when I yearn for poetry that illuminates the spirit, for such poetry much be fiercely and fully grounded in the beauty and the pain of this life. This volume, where stories interleave the poems, delivers, inviting reflection and memorization of lines to hold onto in future storms.
Jun 29, 2009 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
No matter how many times I read this volume, it's always amazing.
Each time I've read it, I've picked up new insights through this work.

I love the Native elements and references; her language is indicative of a world view that I love being a part of each time I read.
Kevin Spicer
May 05, 2015 Kevin Spicer rated it really liked it
Poetry and prose that meditates on the ways that history lingers and spirals, not so much repeating itself but coming back to itself under new light and conditions. And the hope that new light may provide clarity and illumination to our enduring conflicts and dreams.
May 22, 2008 Amy rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the poetry more than the prose, but Harjo's work doesn't disappoint.
Aug 06, 2007 Barbara rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
Kevin Fanning
Sep 16, 2008 Kevin Fanning rated it it was ok
Struggled with it. Agree with her politics and am interested in her story and the story of her people, but I just didn't connect with the writing.
Dec 24, 2016 Emilie rated it it was amazing
Inspired by the journey Joy Harjo charts in this book. The flights she takes offer an example of courage and fortitude to navigate our lives in community with others (living and dead).
Apr 06, 2008 Maryam rated it it was amazing
searing, heart-opening. precious medicine
Feb 19, 2011 Holly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
gorgeous. making words do a whole new thing.
Sue Henry
Jun 03, 2016 Sue Henry rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed the Native American perspective. The intermingling of tales and poetry was a good combination that gave the work more depth. This is a book I could pick up more than once and enjoy.
Kristen Laurene
Kristen Laurene rated it it was amazing
May 06, 2015
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Mar 25, 2011
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May 25, 2007
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Mar 10, 2008
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Bio 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
More about Joy Harjo...

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“I have forgotten the reason, forgive me. I have forgotten my name in the language I was born to, forgive me.” 0 likes
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