Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith (Graywolf Press, paperback)
Publication Date: May 10, 2011
Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize
* Poet Laureate of the United States * * ANew York TimesNotable Book of 2011 andNew York Times Book ReviewEditors' Choice * * ANew Yorker, Library JournalandPublishers WeeklyBest Book of the Year *
New poetry by the award-winning poet Tracy K. Smith, whose "lyric brilliance and political impulses never falter" (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
You lie there kicking like a baby, waiting for God himself To lift you past the rungs of your crib. What Would your life say if it could talk? --from "No Fly Zone"
With allusions to David Bowie and interplanetary travel,Life on Marsimagines a soundtrack for the universe to accompany the discoveries, failures, and oddities of human existence. In these brilliant 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 the kitschy concepts like "love" and "illness" now relegated to the Museum of Obsolescence. These poems reveal the realities of life lived here, on the ground, where a daughter is imprisoned in the basement by her own father, where celebrities and pop stars walk among us, and where the poet herself loses her father, one of the engineers who worked on the Hubble Space Telescope. With this remarkable third collection, Smith establishes herself among the best poets of her generation.