Craig Womack Joy Harjo Analysis

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Criticism of Craig Womack's Interpretations of Joy Harjo's Poems The earliest form of Native American literature is an oral traditional form. In the nineteenth-century, native author started to write Native American Literature. These writers write Native Literature in English because of the English taught in missionary schools. They write autobiographies and novels and combined their narratives with the Native traditional oral story or myth of their culture. When Native American Literature is published, critics started to criticize Native Literature from different perspectives. Joy Harjo is one of the Native American poets that critics have a debate whether she writes poems about lesbians or not. Most of the critics consider Harjo as a feminist writer who writes historical poems, which explore her tribal and cultural identity. As a southern writer, Harjo writes about the southwestern cultures and the prioritization of women's experiences. Harjo’s poems emphasize her love of the natural world and the survival of her…show more content…
Womack emphasizes that critics misjudge Harjo’s poetry by presuming a heterosexual reading for her poetry and paying no attention to her intention, same-sex desire. One of these critics is James Ruppert, who responds to Harjo’s poetry without making any reference to lesbianism. In Ruppert’s “ What Moon Drove Me To This”, he represents Harjo as a feminist writer who is interested in presenting her native culture. Womack argues that Harjo’s “Isleta Women Singing” is published in the earlier book of Harjo’s The Last Song, but Ruppert ignores the idea of same-sex desire in that poem intentionally. According to Womack, Ruppert follows the steps of the most critics, and he has the same interpretation that they have of Harjo’s
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