"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Friday, February 15, 2019

Friday Quotes: Life on Mars

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rose City ReaderShare the opening quote from the book.
Th
e Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's VoiceFind a quote from page 56.

Review, of sorts, to follow.

This is the book I'm highlighting right now---



Title: Life on Mars: Poems by Tracy K. Smith

Book Beginnings: (from page 3)
Friday 56: (from page 19)
Comments and a bit of a review:
Tracy K. Smith won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2012 for this small volume of poems, focusing to a degree on space and life beyond our understanding. "The Weather in Space" poem asks an important and unanswerable question, Is God a being or pure force? Many of the poems take off from a similar theme and seem to try and answer or at least imagine an answer to that question. Which brings us to the first stanza of the poem "Don't You Wonder, Sometimes?" where David Bowie serves as a "cosmic ace hovering, swaying, aching to make us see." The rest of the poem delights as Bowie moves in and out of sight.
The second section of poems focus on Smith's thoughts, feelings about the death of her father, who was an engineer working on the Hubble Space Telescope. I read them in a sort of dispassionate way, thinking that they did not express my feelings after the recent death of my father, but as I closed the book and turned off the lights I realized that a tear was trickling down my cheek. Good poetry does that, it often sneaks up on you.
The third section was full of poems that may have been pulled from headlines. I am not sure. There were no directions given to the readers what to make of the disjointed poems/thoughts. After I read one poem, in which most, but not all the words were italicized, I sat back and asked myself, Did I just read a poem about gang rape? Is that what the poem was about? Gang rape? I reread it. I'm still not sure. Then I spent the next few minutes worried that the poet herself had been gang raped before I decided that the poem's italics meant it wasn't her. Sometimes poetry is like that, it leaves the reader feeling cold and confused.
I haven't finished the book yet, I still have one section to go. After my thrill at the thought of Bowie as a cosmic ace and then my horror at the description of a gang rape, I am not sure what to expect from the rest of the book. I bet I will be surprised.
Tracy K. Smith is the current Poet Laureate of the USA.


16 comments:

  1. I haven't heard of this collection before. Thanks for mentioning it! :-)

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  2. Not for me, I'm so picky when it comes to poetry. I have to feel it. I hope you felt this collection. Happy weekend!

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    1. I'm pretty picky about poetry, too. Some of these poems spoke to me, others didn't. Pretty typical for me.

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  3. Wow, that was so great to read! Actually surprisingly fresh among meme posts of other bloggers))

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    1. Thank you. I have so little blogging time, I try to put together the quotes with a review which makes me feel like I've taken care of business.

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  4. I'm always on the lookout for new-to-me poetry collections. This one looks great. Here is a link to my Friday 56: https://coffeeandcatsblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/15/friday-56-90/

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    1. I'm always on the hunt for new to me poets, too.

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  5. Oh wow! This sounds like a fascinating read. Thanks for sharing! Hope you have a great weekend! :)

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  6. I've never heard of this author or book, but seeing that it won a Pulitzer, I'm intrigued.

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    1. I haven't read any other Pulitzer Prize poetry collections. Maybe I will look for more now.

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  7. I haven't heard about this book, but it really sounds good.

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  8. Fascinating! Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

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  9. That 56 is really lovely. I hope you enjoy your weekend!

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  10. I don't know if I would like it, but I love experiencing it through your eyes.

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    1. When I read poetry i try to find a few gems hidden among the verses. Here is another one I really liked:

      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"

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  11. How interesting. I haven't heard of this collection, before, but you have me curious. I am anxious to know what you think when you finish.

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