The extraordinary new poetry collection by Tracy K. Smith, the Poet Laureate of the United States Even the men in black armor, the onesJangling handcuffs and keys, what elseAre they so buffered against, if not loves bladeSizing up the hearts familiar meat?We watch and grieve. We sleep, stir, eat.Love: the heart sliced open, gutted, clean.Love: naked almost in the everlasting street,Skirt lifted by a different kind of breeze.from Unrest in Baton RougeIn Wade in the Water, Tracy K. Smith boldly ties Americas contemporary moment both to our nations fraught founding history and to a sense of the spirit, the everlasting. These are poems of sliding scale: some capture a flicker of song or memory; some collage an array of documents and voices; and some push past the known world into the haunted, the holy. Smiths signature voiceinquisitive, lyrical, and wryturns over what it means to be a citizen, a mother, and an artist in a culture arbitrated by wealth, men, and violence. Here, private utterance becomes part of a larger choral arrangement as the collection widens to include erasures of The Declaration of Independence and the correspondence between slave owners, a found poem comprised of evidence of corporate pollution and accounts of near-death experiences, a sequence of letters written by African Americans enlisted in the Civil War, and the survivors reports of recent immigrants and refugees. Wade in the Water is a potent and luminous book by one of Americas essential poets....
|Title||:||Wade in the Water: Poems|
|Format Type||:||Kindle Edition|
|Number of Pages||:||96 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Wade » Wade in the Water: Poems|
Wade in the Water: Poems Reviews
Tracy K. Smith leads the reader from a vision of a history not whitewashed in ‘official accounts,’ a history revealed in the voices of those who suffered its effects most directly. Whether her poems breath life into voices from another century, or reveal through a more personal account of a mother watching her daughter race to achieve adulthood they dig deep into a place that rejects stereotype, and painted over ‘facts.’
An example of how, when history becomes too altered by political agenda to ...more
It's tough when the bottom of the book's cover reads "By the Poet Laureate of the United States" (not that I wouldn't minds such baggage). Tough to live up to the expectations. And Tracy K. Smith doesn't. Not if you're looking for stop-you-in-your-tracks poems that make you want to reread just to hear the pleasant little jingle again. I've read poetry like that, and no, not a lot of that here.
The best part is Smith's erasure poetry. There's a brilliant section that must've taken a lot of work. S ...more
Wade in the Water: Poems by Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith is a wonderful compilation of poetry ranging from the personal-- about her childhood, pregnancy and her own daughter; the historical -- slavery, the letters of despair from Civil war veterans and their families, reflections on immigrant and racial discrimination; and the social -- industrial pollution caused by Dupont company's hazardous waste dumping into waterways. It may seem much of the poetry is sad and foreboding, but then the poems ...more
Historical and enduring social wounds addressed in this lyrical and meditative collection that contrasts light with night by the current Poet Laureate of the United States.
Includes many erasure poems based on historical archives of African American soldiers and their families during the Civil War, retaining misspelled words and punctuation. Erasure is a form of poetry created by erasing words from an existing text in prose and framing the result as a poem. These are extremely moving.
Modern situa ...more
Wonderful writing, but, in the case of the audio book, the author does a disservice to her own work. Reading in "poet voice" (yes, this is a real thing... check out http://culturalanalytics.org/2018/04/... ) flattens most of the poems into emotionless recitations with distractingly unnatural rhythms. Occasionally her reading falls into a more natural and relaxed cadence and the artistry is allowed to shine though, but this is the exception.
sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people.
He has plundered our—
destroyed the lives of our—
taking away our—
abolishing our most valuable—
and altering fundamentally the Forms of our—
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for
Redress in the most humble terms:
Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.
We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration
and settlement here.
on the high Seas
Tracy K. Smith's poems are beginning too make my soul feel inadequate. These poems are poetry, what poetry should be. It's feeling and beauty and truth all congealed into one beautiful collection. As always the woman reminds the reader what feeling is, and how words can create them in the first place.