Books That Inspire 2007

She Had Some Horses
Joy Harjo

Horses, symbolic in dreams as the voice of one's true self, frequently appear in Joy Harjo's poetry. Born and raised in Oklahoma, her work is infused with her Creek and Cherokee ancestry. She recalls being influenced by the country and western music she heard growing up. Her title poem, "She Had Some Horses," invokes music and what she calls "dream reason" through lyrical repetition. I often return to this poem when I need to cut through rational processes and shift to inner reflection. The horses, who are at once "skins of ocean water" and "maps drawn of blood," remind me to explore and love the contradictions within myself.
Tara McDaniel
Staff Assistant II
Western History Collections