Life on Mars

Life on Mars


Book - 2011
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In this brilliant collection of new poems, Tracy K. Smith envisions a sci-fi future sucked clean of any real dangers, contemplates the dark matter that keeps people both close and distant and revisits kitschy concepts like 'love' and 'illness', now relegated to the museum of obsolescence. With allusions to David Bowie and interplanetary travel, Life on Mars imagines a soundtrack for the universe, accompanying the discoveries, failures and oddities of human existence and establishing Smith as one of the best poets of her generation.
Publisher: Minneapolis, Minn. : Graywolf Press, c2011
ISBN: 9781555975845
Characteristics: 75 p. ; 23 cm
Call Number: 811.6 SMI


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May 07, 2018

The book left me confused about some of her references. I guess, being much older, I'm out of date.

Sep 22, 2016

It's been a while since I tried a new poet, and Tracy K. Smith was so rewarding. She is a very skilled word slinger, creating images, patterns and rhythms with words unlike anything I've ever read before. Even the dreariest images, the frantic, the unsettling -- they were all somehow musical because of her use of internal rhyme and general wordplay. This is a must-own.

Aug 24, 2016

This brief volume of poetry runs the gamut, from David Bowie's songs to Arthur C. Clarke's Space 2001 to Abu Ghraib and her father's death. Mostly free verse, reading like conversation. One of my favorites is about a therapist who helped her a lot, until her reaction to him began to feel like "a date with a friend," and she knew she'd gotten everything she could from him. Her father's work as an engineer on the Hubble Telescope is clearly an influence as well. I've read her later memoir about her mother, and recommend that as well. In fact, that memoir led me to her poetry.


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