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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Adult Book Review: Weaving Sundown in a Scarlet Light

Author: Joy Harjo
Reviewed by Chloe Fuksa, Putnam Six Bookstore

This month’s review, in a nod to National Poetry Month, is of Weaving Sundown in a Scarlet Light, a collection of poems from ground-breaking Oklahoman Joy Harjo. She served as the United States Poet Laureate for three terms, from 2019 to 2022, and was the first Native American to be named to that role. Published in November 2022, this latest book features 50 poems to mark Harjo’s 50 years as a poet, as well as notes at the end to explain the history of each one, its context and how it came to be.

Overall, this collection covers such an extensive range in many areas. The themes and emotions span from grief and fear to grace and love, from music and sunrises to imagination and change, while the words are sometimes rich and ornate, sometimes mainstream and casual. Some of the poems are less than a page long, just a couple of sentences, while others are short paragraphs that cover three or four pages. Through them all is the very strong influence of the American Southwest and Harjo’s Native American heritage.

If you find poetry intimidating – this reviewer will freely admit to it – this book would be a great way to stretch your comfort zone. What I found to be most helpful was reading a poem the first time through, then reading its corresponding note at the end, then reading the poem through a second time. It forces your mind to slow down and really absorb the words, while the notes help you draw out the meanings and the message. Weaving Sundown in a Scarlet Light is a really beautiful work of art that readers can return to time and time again.

Visit us in Sunset Plaza or call 580-297-5089 to get your copy of Weaving Sundown in a Scarlet Light today!

Chloe Fuksahttp://putnamsix.com
Chloe Fuksa is the owner of Putnam Six Bookstore, located in Sunset Plaza. Like many others in her hometown, Chloe was sad to see Hastings close and decided to open a local independent bookstore in October 2018. Chloe loves that books can comfort you and teach you, they can make you laugh and make you cry, they can transport you to faraway places and inspire your wildest dreams.

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