I was a thought, a dream, a fish, a wingAnd then a human beingWhen I emerged from my mother's riverOn my father's boat of potent feverI carried a sack of dreams from a starlit dwellingTo be opened when I begin bleedingThere's a red dress, deerskin moccasinsThe taste of berries made of promisesWhile the memories shift in their skinsAt every moon, to do their ripening
“Granddaughters”. Copyright © 2019 by Joy Harjo,
from AN AMERICAN SUNRISE: POEMS by Joy Harjo.
Used by permission of W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
“Full of celebration, crisis, brokenness, and healing.”
— Daisy Fried, The New York Times
“If you only read one book of poems this summer, make it An American Sunrise.... Every step of the journey is deeply moving.... Rich and deeply engaging, An American Sunrise creates bridges of understanding while reminding readers to face and remember the past.”
— Elizabeth Lund, The Washington Post
“While the subject matter of her new poems continuously hits you in the gut, Harjo brings a sense of resilience to that dark history.”
— Christian Allaire, Vogue