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Life on Mars: Poems

by Tracy K. Smith

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4562041,323 (4.11)96
A collection of poems in which Tracy K. Smith examines the discoveries, failures, and oddities of humans.

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I mean, I don’t know what to say that hasn’t already been said about this poetry collection from Tracy K. Smith. It’s amazing. If you like poetry, you’ve probably already read this and if you haven’t, get it and read every poem out-loud to yourself or a receptive participant. This line was my favorite but there are so many good ones: “Our time is brief. We dwindle by the day.” Incredible. ( )
  jobinsonlis | May 11, 2021 |
I'm fairly new to the world of poetry, and this Pulitzer prize-winning book came highly recommended. Tracy K. Smith's poems are challenging in what they convey, at least they were at the beginning. My first self-taught lesson of poetry was to stop trying so hard to understand and just let go. By simply focusing on the words, perhaps trying to encapsulate them by how they sounded aloud, I started to arrive at some version of understanding. It was hard to know for sure because it was never blindingly obvious, and certainly never the same each time, but it felt right and realizing that also felt fight. I can foresee this being an ongoing introspective pursuit.

In one of my favorite movies, "Contact" starring Jodie Foster, there's a line near the end of the movie where her character, while staring at a never-before-seen celestial event, says, "I have no words to describe it. They should've sent a poet." I like to imagine Tracy K. Smith's "Life on Mars" is an answer to that call. ( )
  Daniel.Estes | Aug 27, 2020 |
This book is really unbelievable.
  lindsaycostello | Jul 30, 2020 |
Smith's poetry is so approachable yet deep that it is easy to see why she was a poet laureate. ( )
  bookwyrmm | Jun 22, 2020 |

Once upon a time, a woman told this to her daughter:
Save yourself. The girl didn’t think to ask for what?
She looked into her mother’s face and answered Yes.
Years later, alone in the room where she lives
The daughter listens to the life she’s been saved from:
Evening patter. Summer laughter. Young bodies
Racing into the unmitigated happiness of danger.

Occasionally quotable, thoroughly engaging. ( )
  brokensandals | Feb 7, 2019 |
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A collection of poems in which Tracy K. Smith examines the discoveries, failures, and oddities of humans.

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