Life on Mars

Title:
Life on Mars
Poems
Tracy K. Smith
Price$16.00
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“A collection of bold, skillful poems, taking readers into the universe and moving them to an authentic mix of joy and pain.”—Pulitzer Prize Judges’ Citation

A New York Times Notable Book of 2011

About the Book

Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry

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 Mars imagines 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.

Additional Reviews

“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.”—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 New Yorker

“[W]hat’s most satisfying about [Life on Mars] is that . . . Ms. Smith shows us that she can play the minor keys, too. . . . [Her writing] reveals unknowable terrains: birth and death and love.”—The New York Times