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Tracy K. Smith

Författare till Life on Mars: Poems

16+ verk 1,704 medlemmar 47 recensioner 4 favoritmärkta

Om författaren

Tracy K. Smith is the author of three previous books of poetry, including Life on Mars, winner of the Pulitzer Prize; Duende, winner of the James Laughlin Award; and The Body's Question, winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize. She is also the editor of an anthology, American Journal: Fifty Poems for visa mer Our Time, and the author of a memoir, Ordinary Light, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. In 2017, Smith was appointed Poet Laureate of the United States. She teaches at Princeton University. visa färre
Foto taget av: Tina Chang

Verk av Tracy K. Smith

Associerade verk

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Allmänna fakta



I claim these people and admit their claim upon me.

from To Free the Captives by Tracy K. Smith
“Communion across the mortal divide,” Smith calls it. The link backwards through time to all who came before, those connected by blood, and those connected by common experience and history.

There is strength in this connection, and a circle of family that transcends family.

I have felt that connection. I have traced my ancestors back centuries. To a man persecuted for his Anabaptist faith, imprisoned and his goods confiscated, his family turned out of their home. To the Swiss Brethren minister, an early settler in the Shenandoah Valley, who was scalped and killed, along with his wife and several children; luckily, my distant grandmother escaped.

Smith traces her ancestors back to the Middle Passage, to slavery, to Sunflower, Alabama where he father was born. Hers were Freed people–not Free–for there is a difference between born to freedom and being granted freedom. Freedom granted can be taken away.

Smith shares her family history and her own story in this luminous memoir. She struggles with the past and shares her concerns for the future awaiting her sons. She responds to the murder of black youth and wonders about America’s future.

This hauntingly beautiful and moving memoir offers revelation and hope for the future.

Thanks to the publisher for a free book.
… (mer)
nancyadair | Nov 17, 2023 |
The title of this collection, Life on Mars seems almost tongue-in-cheek as the collection is VERY much about life here on earth, in a very visceral, beautiful, and sometimes intensely difficult, way. Poems like "Everything That Ever Was" manage to dance with the universe without overly lofty ambition, keeping our feet on the ground. "The Universe as Primal Scream" marries biblical storytelling with the everyday tedium of our existence. Occasionally Smith packs a huge punch with just a few words (your mileage will vary, based on personal experiences). When I read, "Tonight, I'm at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I don't know where I end" ("They May Love All That He Has Chosen and Hate All That He Has Rejected"), I was transported to that exact state of being. Prior to reading the collection I had been at an event where Tracy K. Smith spoke about her father, and many of the poems in this collection revealed much about that relationship--in particular the one dedicated to his memory, "The Speed of Belief".

At that same event, Smith said, "When you read a poem you become humble." In humility there is great wisdom and beauty and it is woven throughout this wonderful collection.
… (mer)
1 rösta
rebcamuse | 18 andra recensioner | Jul 13, 2023 |
This took a while for me to get into, but there are one or two I quite liked.
Kiramke | 1 annan recension | Jun 27, 2023 |
Favourite: Political Poem.
biblioclair | 11 andra recensioner | Jun 20, 2023 |



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