The The map as a conceit for the mother land and its tragic history in joy harjo’s “a map to the next world”


  • Sulin Nadir Abdulqadir Department of English languages, Faculty of Humanities, University of Zakho, Kurdistan Region-Iraq.
  • Amel A. Mahmoud Department of English languages, Faculty of Humanities, University of Zakho, Kurdistan Region-Iraq.



: Joy Harjo, “A Map to the Next World”, conceit, Native Americans, the mother land, history, culture and myths


This research paper examines the interconnectedness of the land and history of the Native Americans as delineated in the poem “A Map to the Next World” (2000) by Joy Harjo (1951-) The poem skillfully comes in the form of an extended metaphor “conceit” as the poet elaborates in describing a map, she plans to draw for the mother land of her nation, the Creek tribe which is one of the main tribes of the indigenous people of America, along with their devastating history.  The poem is fertile with signs, symbols, images and metaphors that intensify the deep historical and cultural connotations. Furthermore, this research paper endeavors to answer significant questions like; how does Harjo employs the figure of speech “conceit” in her poem to communicate meanings related to the Native American tragic history and their deep connection to their land. Other important questions, the research paper, seeks to find answers to is how does the poet delineate the devastating impact of modern urban life on the rich heritage of the Creek tribes, and to which extent the poet is successful in adopting the myths of the Native Americans to communicate the core meaning of the poem which is the deep connection between the Native Americans and their mother land.


The methodological approach utilized in this research is an in-depth literary analysis. This method dexterously employs close reading strategies of certain lines and stanzas in this poem to probe through their rhetorical aspects and to simultaneously, carefully examine the explicit and implicit historical and cultural references of the poem.


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How to Cite

Abdulqadir, S., & Mahmoud, A. (2022). The The map as a conceit for the mother land and its tragic history in joy harjo’s “a map to the next world” . Humanities Journal of University of Zakho, 10(4), 1193–1198.



Humanities Journal of University of Zakho