I Swallow Turquoise for Courage
With their recurring images of sheep, coyotes, and crows—and an ever-present Navajo grandmother—these poems carry echoes of an ancient time that seems to exist in parallel with our own. The people who live in them bear, as if woven strand by strand into their souls, the culture and traditions of the Glittering World. Although these poems are lush with imagery of sunbaked lands, they are never sentimental. Throughout this collection, the poet’s voice is confident, assured, and engaged with life in a messy world. It is a world in which animated spirits dwell comfortably with modern machinery, where the spiritual resides with the all-too-human. This is a welcoming universe. It invites us to enter, to linger, to savor, and to learn.
“Hershman John’s courage, sure grounding in his world, and formal and linguistic skill make this an impressive first book.” —Studies in American Indian Literature