I first ran into Tracy K. Smith’s collection Life on Mars through a National Public Radio interview. It fascinated me that there was a poet writing a collection that seemed in the vein of what I want to produce for my thesis, and I immediately ordered it. As an investigation of the human in the face of grief, it is excellent; as an investigation of humanity’s place in the universe, it is a little bit disappointing. While Smith does interrogate a human understanding of life and death, and the process of coming to terms with dying, the collection is much more centered on that issue than the questions I am interested in. These questions aside, there are a couple of poems which question the human locus within the universe, and it is these poems (“Sci-Fi” and “My God, it’s Full of Stars”) I would like to examine more closely here. “Sci-Fi” polishes up the crystal ball and looks into a future of humanity, while “My God, it’s Full of Stars” investigates the question of life elsewhere in the universe, our relationship to it, and concludes with Nietzsche’s abyss staring right back at us. These two particular poems intrigue me because they remain grounded in a perspective from the human-scale viewpoint; it could reasonably be argued that the group of poems I am pursuing currently lacks this perspective. Continue reading
Disclaimer: I don’t normally post poems here, because I feel that they have a much better chance at legitimacy if they live a long revision life and see the light of publication in a real venue, not my own blog… However, because of the nature of this poem and my slight intoxication, I have decided to request feedback over the internets, which are known for their fair and balanced opinions.
Written tonight, this draft is rant-y, and liberal. I post because I want feedback, but I’m not entirely sure about the politics…
**edit: if it seems cut-off, it is. This is the first third (about) of the poem**
See for yourself after the jump.