140th Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 140th Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s books suggested. Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Also, sign up for the 2012 Fearless Poetry Reading Challenge because its simple; you only need to read 1 book of poetry. Please visit the stops on the National Poetry Month Blog Tour from April 2011 and beginning again in April 2012.

Today’s poems is from Joy Harjo:


I must keep from breaking into the story by force
for if I do I will find myself with a war club in my hand
and the smoke of grief staggering toward the sun,
your nation dead beside you.

I keep walking away though it has been an eternity
and from each drop of blood
springs up sons and daughters, trees,
a mountain of sorrows, of songs. 

I tell you this from the dusk of a small city in the north
not far from the birthplace of cars and industry.
Geese are returning to mate and crocuses have 
broken through the frozen earth.

Soon they will come for me and I will make my stand
before the jury of destiny. Yes, I will answer in the clatter
of the new world, I have broken my addiction to war
and desire. Yes, I will reply, I have buried the dead

and made songs of the blood, the marrow.

What do you think?


  1. Nanette Tron says

    Dear Joy Harjo:

    Your poem is lovely, Write on! My name is Nanette Tron and my dream is to write
    good poetry too. Some day I would like the honor of publishing a book. I try hard so if you ever read some of my works. Please be kind and encourageing. You are great.
    Have a good day!

  2. please tell me what do we do to participate in the virtual poetry circle?
    please delete reading rendezvous reviews blog, its my old one. I linked my new one already.

  3. I’d really have to spend more time with this poem to really make sense of it but I find it interesting that there is an addiction to both war and desire. What a combination, but from what I’ve read of war, it’s not surprising.

  4. lynn Dewald says

    Wow. The last line is so powerful. I have never heard of this writer. I will go check her out. This blog posts the best poetry. I used to hate poetry. Your review of the triptych was the first one I followed. What is the name of the book this poem comes from? Oh and are the indie awards chosen yet?

    -Lynn from American Fork

    • I’m so glad that you’ve enjoyed the poetry posted here. I hope that you continue to follow and participate. I’m not sure which book this Harjo poem is from; I found it on Poets.org. The Indie Lit Awards winners will be announced later this month. I’ll keep everyone posted to be sure.

  5. Taken out of context, that first line is very powerful to an author. How many times have I tried breaking into a story by force? It never works.

    For Harjo, the story is bigger than just a tale to be told. It’s life, it’s everything! Blood and marrow, geese and crocuses. The latter doesn’t care about the former, really, but blood seems almost necessary for the song to be created.

    (Also, I think I sold my Joy Harjo books when I needed the money, ages ago. That was a miscalculation, wasn’t it?)