The Spiritual BeginningIn all of Joy Harjos poetry one of the values that is common is a connection between all things. Nothing then exists by itself. The sense of the conceitedness of all things, of the spiritness of all thins, of the intelligent consciousness of all things, is the identifying characteristic of American Indian tribal poetry. (Allen, pg. 167) In Joy Harjo s poem Them Women Hanging From the Thirteenth Floor Window, we can see a woman trying to grasp her spiritual connection to the universe. The woman feels lonely and lost and is holding on to survive but at the same time she reminds herself how she is spiritually joined with others. This woman is trying to outlive her feelings of loneliness and sorrow for her surrended life. It seems that she does not know what to do. But she is the woman hanging from the 13th floor window, and she knows she is hanging by her own fingers, her own skin, her own thread of indecision. (Harjo, pg. 1254) As you can see this woman feels alone by her own feelings. She feels confused to even end her own life. She believes that there is no one that can help her. The woman is without hope. Her hands are pressed white against the concrete molding of the tenement building. (Harjo, pg. 1253) Living in a Chicago tenement building she feels closed in. It seems to perceive that this woman lives in a large box with many little boxes inside; and she is in a box within a box. She is not only a lonely woman that feels like she has no one, but she also feels a lose in spirit. She is a woman torn between two husbands. The woman feels that pieces of her soul are missing. She is separated from everyone and everything. This woman thinks about her life flashing before her eyes. Seeing herself giving life and then ending her own. Her belly is soft from her children s births, her worn Levi s swing down below her waist, and then her feet, and then her heart. (Harjo, pg. 1254) She feels as though she has lost all the things that are meaningful in her life and dear to her heart. Her children are grown; she misses the warmth of holding her babies close to her. Crying for the lost beauty of her own life. (Harjo, pg. 1255) The woman weeps for her past. She is trying to reach back and embrace the security and happiness that she once had. Her thoughts went back into her past remembering when she was a baby and being close with her family. She was one with her father, mother, and with her siblings. The woman thought she was spiritually connected to the universe.
She is all the women of the apartment building who stand watching her, watching themselves. (Harjo, pg. 1253) She is begins to realize that she is not the only one troubled by life s many dilemmas. She connects with other women, seeing that they all have difficulties to overcome. Sometimes you can t see it from the outside, but when you look inside you will find that no one s life is perfect. She connects herself with death as she describes hearing voices in the night. Sometimes the voice is her grandmothers , and sometimes it s the voice of a stranger trying to save her from her depression. Finally, she realizes that she must move on with her life and keep on living, if not for herself then for the ones she loves. She shows you how all things connect with the universe. The woman describes herself as a daughter, a son, and a wife. She searches through her memories feeling as though there is no hope and notices other women hanging from their floor windows too. She sees that she s not alone as they all share the same inner feelings.The American Indian women who wrote this poem bases her poem on real life events. She not only writes these poems but she makes you picture this in your mind. She really makes you feel like you re the one holding on to survive. Poetry of this type has a lot to do with your innerself and your spiritual being. It s all up to the reader. In Joy Harjo s poem The Woman Hanging From the 13th Floor Window, we can see her spiritual connection to the universe. Spiritually you can feel the woman s true emotions of her loneliness and her loses through the woman s past experiences. In the poem you get a feeling of really being there. You can visualize what you read. This is how Allen describes the Native American Indian poet. Really being able to touch you through her words and making you feel the poets true pain. How she relates her self to her family, other women, and death is an example of how the Native American poet displays tribally inspired poetry. She relates to all these other things as she relates to the universe. Spiritually they are all connected together.