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Life on Mars: Poems Kindle Edition
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“In Life on Mars, Smith shows herself to be a poet of extraordinary range and ambition. It's not easy to be so convincing in both the grand gesture and the reverent contemplation of a humble plate of eggs. . . . As all the best poetry does, Life on Mars first sends us out into the magnificent chill of the imagination and then returns us to ourselves, both changed and consoled.” ―Joel Brouwer, The New York Times Book Review
“[Life on Mars] is by turns intimate, even confessional, regarding private life in light of its potential extermination, and resoundingly political, warning of a future that 'isn't what it used to be,' the refuse of a party piled with 'postcards / And panties, bottles with lipstick on the rim.' ” ―Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker
“The book's strange and beautiful first section pulses with America's adolescent crush on the impossible, on what waits beyond the edge of the universe. . . . But what's most satisfying about [Life on Mars] is that after the grand space opera of Part 1, with its giddy name checks of 2001 and David Bowie, Ms. Smith shows us that she can play the minor keys, too. Her Martian metaphor firmly in place, she reveals unknowable terrains: birth and death and love.” ―Dana Jennings, The New York Times
“[Life on Mars] blends pop culture, history, elegy, anecdote, and sociopolitical commentary to illustrate the weirdness of contemporary living. . . . The title poem, which includes everything from 'dark matter' and 'a father.../ who kept his daughter/ Locked in a cell for decades' to Abu Ghraib is proof that life is far stranger and more haunting than fiction.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Hypnotic and brimming with irony, the poems in Smith's latest volume aren't so much about outer space as the interior life and the search for the divine. . . . The spiritual motif running through these poems adds a stunning dimension that will please many readers.” ―Library Journal
“[Tracy K. Smith is] one of the finest poets writing right now.” ―Gabrielle Calvocoressi, The Miami Herald
“In Life on Mars, a vibrant collection of verse, Smith pays homage to David Bowie ('the Pope of Pop'), Stanley Kubric, the Hubble Telescope, JFK airport and more. It's a gripping, intergalactic ride that marvels at the miracles and malfunctions of our ever changing world. 'Like a wide wake, rippling/Infinitely into the distance, everything/That ever was still is, somewhere.'” ―More Magazine
“[The poems] are smart, funny, and expertly crafted.” ―San Francisco Chronicle, Best Poetry of 2011
“A strong, surprising, and often beautiful book. . . . Consistently surprising and demanding, Life on Mars gives materiality to Victor Martinez's statement that 'poetry is the essence of thinking.' ” ―Sean Singer, The Rumpus
About the Author
Tracy K. Smith is the twenty-second Poet Laureate of the United States and recipient of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for Life on Mars. Duende, her second book, received the 2006 James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.--This text refers to the audioCD edition.
- ASIN : B06WVNVTW3
- Publisher : Graywolf Press (January 10, 2017)
- Publication date : January 10, 2017
- Language : English
- File size : 969 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Print length : 87 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #364,856 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Earth being a planet, which is complex and waiting to be discovered, it is even paradoxical to be surrounded by the earth and feel this open accessibility to it when we in fact don't know much about it at all, and yet with our fascination with somewhere far off parts of us are looking past it. Since there's a part of us that doesn't know to cope with the state of the world or even begin to remedy/fix its ugly parts that drive deeper than we can always admit. We can try we just sometimes become disillusioned from our good-hearted fights.
I also think parts of us have become desensitized to the cosmos much like we do to the experience of watching David Bowie sing "Life on Mars?" After watching and being around something over and over again, with the off chance of the times we experience novelty and freshening of our eyes and perspective, its stripped of its meaning, and I think the song that this collection is based on functions as a parallel to how we see and experience life and the world around us, which can be troubling because after too long we begin to see through it. I also unfortunately had that same problem, to carry it over to space movies, watching 2001: A Space Odyssey (forgive me!)
In her works, Tracy K. Smith also has a great deal of commentary about America and sense of identity and nationality, especially as living as an African-American woman in a household where discussion about race was repressed. Her family didn't know how to to talk about it, because it's another one of those fundamental things that we try to understand and make sense of for ourselves and for our children, but it comes, at times, to be too deeply threaded, hurtful, and difficult to broach. It's large and vast and problematic, just like space can sometimes be.
So, in essence, Smith could also still feel unresolved alienation within herself and her identity even though she has come closer to knowing herself as she has gotten older. We focus on Mars to distract ourselves from other things, from other problems, like race, corruption, gender, power structures and struggles, xenophobia, and bigotry that directly impact us and our daily existences.
So, this idea could relate to Smith as well because in living with the death of her father she’s trying to come to terms with a lot, and even reconfigure and reorient her life and who she’s supposed to be in a universe without him in it, but doesn’t fully know how because it isn’t clean or pretty or neat. Bowie poses Life on Mars as a question as if to ask us why do we do this? Why do we focus on Mars when there’s so much for us to focus on right here?
And Smith poses it as a statement as if now to acknowledge that yes, we do, we do this, so what does this mean? And each of the poems becomes the fabric for her cosmos and her relationship to it and they also analyze why we feel motivated to focus on Mars, or really anything to distract us from our current realities, as a form of escapism when it is inevitable that everything will still be there waiting for us when we come back. A powerful group of poems!
Top reviews from other countries
Avec Life On Mars, une aventure, du macrocosme scientifique, épique, mystique, humoristique au microcosme personnel, sensoriel, sensuel, usuel, avec une riche musicalité, une tendre vitalité... Des références à notre culture pop commune, du Dave Bowman de Kubrick à David Bowie...
Tracy K. Smith incarne par ses écrits et ses engagements une esthétique et une éthique du temps présent, en lien avec les êtres :
Coup de foudre initié par sa merveilleuse anthologie de poètes et poétesse américains contemporains : American Journal, Fifty Poems For Our Time.
Les deux ouvrages sont en Anglais des USA..