She Had Some Horses

I really like this poem of Joys.  I like how she really leaves it up to the audience to decipher the meaning behind it.  It isn’t just a poem that sends a clear message as to what she is trying to tell us.  There are words and phrases that might lead us to get an idea as to what it is really about, but overall we as the readers are the ones who get to interpret the real meaning.  I love when writers write in a repetitive style, and that is exactly what Joy does in this poem.  She began every single line in the poem, besides the last final line, with “She had some horses…”  In my personal interpretation, I thought that this poem was about all the people in Joy’s life and she referred to them all as horses, with a specific characteristic or trait following that.  They were all the same, but at the same time, different.  The “horses” had to of been something or someone of large significance due to her repetition of them in every single line.  I did some research because I was curious as to why she would chose a horse of all things.  It is again due to her Native American heritage and the huge important role horses played in their lives at the time. Joy is comparing herself to all the people in her community around her.  She is trying to express to us the oppression and that she feels alienated.  In the first stanza she describes the horses through nature and as things that cannot be broken.  In the second stanza she gives these horses human like features, such as the breasts and thighs.  She continues on the wrest of the poem talking about the horses human-like activity.  Overall, I really enjoyed this poem and thought it was an interesting way for her to describe to us how she felt at that point in her life and explain the feeling of alienation between her and the people around her.

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2 Responses to She Had Some Horses

  1. cbemont says:

    I agree with everything that is said in this post. It took some interpreting of my own to figure out what she was getting at. After rereading and reading this post is makes perfect sense as to what she is trying to get at. I also agree on the fact that she leaves it up to the reader for our own interpretation.

  2. natalyalc says:

    I agree with you that it is really awesome that Joy Harjo does not really have a solid meaning behind this poem. Often, people read a poem, and they feel they MUST know the poet’s meaning and symbolism of everything mentioned in the poem. I think poetry is meant to be exactly what it is- art. Art is meant to evoke emotion and express something; an artist creates for an audience. How the reader reacts and interprets this poem, personally, is fulfilling exactly what Harjo wants.

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