Oct 08, 2020danielestes rated this title 4.5 out of 5 stars
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.