Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Tracy K Smith

Featured Poem:

Water, Shade

Enlarge poem

Of all the original tribes, the Javan has walked into the dappled green light. Also the Bali, flicking his tail as the last clouds in the world dissolved at his back. And the Caspian, with his famous winter mane, has lain down finally for good. Or so we believe. And so I imagine you must be even more alone now,

The only heat of your kind for miles. A solitary country. At dawn, you listen past the birds rutting the trees, past even the fish at their mischief. You listen the way a woman listens to the apparatus of her body. And it reaches you, my own wish, like a scent, a rag on the wind. It will do no good to coax you back

From that heaven of leaves, of cool earth and nothing to fear. How far. How lush your bed. How heavy your prey. Day arrives. You gorge, sleep, wade the stream. Night kneels at your feet like a gypsy glistening with jewels. You raise your head and the great mouth yawns. You swallow the light.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (4)
  • Pride (2)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (1)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (1)
  • Reflection (1)
  • Captivation (0)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (1)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (1)

Comments

  1. Reading Life on Mars after liking Duende poems that were online. This poem helps orient me in LoM.

    Robert Zeek

Your email address will not be published.

Biography

Tracy K. Smith (born April 16, 1972) is an African-American poet and educator. She has published three collections of poetry. She won the Pulitzer Prize for a 2011 collection, Life on Mars.About this collection, Joel Brouwer wrote in 2011: “Smith shows herself to be a poet of extraordinary range and ambition. … As all the best poetry does, Life on Mars first sends us out into the magnificent chill of the imagination and then returns us to ourselves, both changed and consoled.”

Smith is a native of Falmouth, Massachusetts.She was raised in northern California in a family with “deep roots” in Alabama. She received her B.A. from Harvard University in 1994, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Columbia University in 1997. From 1997 to 1999 she was a Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford University. She has taught at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York, the University of Pittsburgh and Columbia University. In 2005 she joined the faculty of Princeton University, where she is professor of creative writing.

Tracy K Smith

Biography

Tracy K. Smith (born April 16, 1972) is an African-American poet and educator. She has published three collections of poetry. She won the Pulitzer Prize for a 2011 collection, Life on Mars.About this collection, Joel Brouwer wrote in 2011: “Smith shows herself to be a poet of extraordinary range and ambition. … As all the best poetry does, Life on Mars first sends us out into the magnificent chill of the imagination and then returns us to ourselves, both changed and consoled.”

Smith is a native of Falmouth, Massachusetts.She was raised in northern California in a family with “deep roots” in Alabama. She received her B.A. from Harvard University in 1994, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Columbia University in 1997. From 1997 to 1999 she was a Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford University. She has taught at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York, the University of Pittsburgh and Columbia University. In 2005 she joined the faculty of Princeton University, where she is professor of creative writing.

Featured Poem:

Water, Shade

Enlarge poem

Of all the original tribes, the Javan has walked into the dappled green light. Also the Bali, flicking his tail as the last clouds in the world dissolved at his back. And the Caspian, with his famous winter mane, has lain down finally for good. Or so we believe. And so I imagine you must be even more alone now,

The only heat of your kind for miles. A solitary country. At dawn, you listen past the birds rutting the trees, past even the fish at their mischief. You listen the way a woman listens to the apparatus of her body. And it reaches you, my own wish, like a scent, a rag on the wind. It will do no good to coax you back

From that heaven of leaves, of cool earth and nothing to fear. How far. How lush your bed. How heavy your prey. Day arrives. You gorge, sleep, wade the stream. Night kneels at your feet like a gypsy glistening with jewels. You raise your head and the great mouth yawns. You swallow the light.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (4)
  • Pride (2)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (1)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (1)
  • Reflection (1)
  • Captivation (0)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (1)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (1)

Comments

  1. Reading Life on Mars after liking Duende poems that were online. This poem helps orient me in LoM.

    Robert Zeek

Your email address will not be published.