I've always had a theory that some of us are born with nerve endings longer than our bodies

— Joy Harjo

The most famous Joy Harjo quotes that are simple and will have a huge impact on you

The saxophone is so human. Its tendency is to be rowdy, edgy, talk too loud, bump into people, say the wrong words at the wrong time, but then, you take a breath all the way from the center of the earth and blow. All that heartache is forgiven. All that love we humans carry makes a sweet, deep sound and we fly a little.


If you do not answer the noise and urgency of your gifts, they will turn on you.

Or drag you down with their immense sadness at being abandoned.


At least I've had to come to that in my life, to realize that this stuff called failure, this stuff, this debris of historical trauma, family trauma, you know, stuff that can kill your spirit, is actually raw material to make things with and to build a bridge. You can use those materials to build a bridge over that which would destroy you.


Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their families, their histories too. Talk to them, listen to them. They are alive poems.


Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.


There is no separation. We are all from the same place. As long as there is respect and acknowledgement of connections, things continue working. When that stops we all die.


I can hear the sizzle of newborn stars, and know anything of meaning, of the fierce magic emerging here. I am witness to flexible eternity, the evolving past, and I know we will live forever, as dust or breath in the face of stars, in the shifting pattern of winds.


But come here, Fear. / I am alive! / And you are so afraid / of dying.


True power does not amass through the pain and suffering of others.


My sister accommodates me, never reproaches me with her doctrine, never tries to change me. She accepts and loves me, despite our differences.


If we cry more tears we will ruin the land with salt;

instead let's praise that which would distract us with despair. Make a song for death, a song for yellow teeth and bad breath


It is memory that provides the heart with impetus, fuels the brain, and propels the corn plant from seed to fruit.


About Joy Harjo

Quotes 30 sayings
Profession Poet
Birthday May 9, 1951

I have more questions than answers in this world as do most poets and writers.

The field of memory we exist in is absolutely encompassing and is both a question and answer. It is memory that provides the heart with impetus, fuels the brain, and propels the corn plant from seed to fruit.


Remember that you are all people and that all people are you.


My generation is now the door to memory. That is why I am remembering.


Remember that you are this universe and that this universe is you.


I listen to the gunfire we cannot hear, and begin this journey with the light of knowing the root of my own furious love.


It's important as a writer to do my art well and do it in a way that is powerful and beautiful and meaningful, so that my work regenerates the people, certainly Indian people, and the earth and the sun. And in that way we all continue forever.


A story matrix connects all of us. There are rules, processes, and circles of responsibility in this world. And the story begins exactly where it is supposed to begin. We cannot skip any part.


The woman hanging from the 13th floor window on the east side of Chicago is not alone...She is all the women of the apartment building who stand watching her, watching themselves.


In Isleta the rainbow was a crack in the universe.

We saw the barest of all life that is possible. Bright horses rolled over and over the dusking sky.


My house is the red earth . . . .


My father told me that some voices are so true they can be used as weapons, can maneuver the weather, change time. He said that a voice that powerful can walk away from the singer if it is shamed. After my father left us, I learned that some voices can deceive you. There is a top layer and there is a bottom, and they don't match.


Because Music is a language that lives in the spiritual realms, we can hear it, we can notate it and create it, but we cannot hold it in our hands


There is no poetry where there are no mistakes.


I believe that poets have to be inside their poems somewhere, or the poem won't work.


I was born with eyes that can never close.


Someone accompanies every soul from the other side when it enters this place.

Usually it is an ancestor with whom that child shares traits and gifts


I know I walk in and out of several worlds each day.