Friday, December 29, 2017

A Review of 'Life On Mars' by Tracy K. Smith

"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 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."

Okay, I'll admit, I read this book partially because I wanted to increase the number of books that I had read this year... poetry is a really good way to do this.  But my husband also read this book the first year of his undergrad and I think this book of poetry surprised him.  So I wanted to read something that he seemed to like.

But... I just couldn't get into it.  I didn't catch on from the beginning so by the time I reached the end, I hadn't bought in and I hadn't gotten what I wanted to out of this book of poetry.  Too many references I didn't understand, maybe.  

I'll leave this review disappointing and short, I suppose.  I don't think this book was meant for me to read.  And sometimes that's okay.  I recognize that.  I won't denounce this book as a bad read or anything like that, just simply 'not for me.'

I give 'Life On Mars':
Thanks for Reading.


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