Wade in the Water: Poems
The extraordinary new poetry collection by Tracy K. Smith, the Poet Laureate of the United States
Even the men in black armor, the ones
Jangling handcuffs and keys, what else
Are they so buffered against, if not love’s blade
Sizing up the heart’s familiar meat?
We watch and grieve. We sleep, stir, eat.
Love: the heart sliced open, gutted, clean.
Love: naked almost in the everla...more
One of these game changers is ...more
These poems are reflect how minorities in America have grappled with racism. Each piece pulls at your senses and challenges you to think more deeply about the world around you. The history of how black people survived slavery and reconstruction is often overlooked. In the poem "Unwritten" the use of real correspondence of African Americans while fighting in the Civil War and surviving after, let's us glimpse into the deep cavern of history that has not b ...more
The best part is Smith's erasure poetry. There's a brilliant section that must've taken a lot of work. S ...more
Smith writes in a fascinating variety of styles, from lyrical poems to ghazels to erasure ...more
Wade in the Water is her latest contribution to the wonderful world of poetry. Written mostly in non-rhyming prose, it describes and uses private experiences and public documents.
My favorite sections are borrowed from real letters written by real people during the Civil War. I have read so many books about slaves and their experiences, these poems were very real to me.
Smith is a professor at Pr ...more
and Dupont dumping poison into drinking water, KNOWINGLY (with near death descriptions)
and African Americans enlisted in the Civil War, seeking pension (Yours for Christs sake --)
I was fortunate to be at Smith's inauguration as Poet Laureate, and see several of these poems performed in person. The crowd reaction to a white officer giving a black officer a false name so that the whi ...more
Wow…mmm…no. Absolutely no.
I’m sorry but I did not like this collection in the slightest.
For as much as the writing style was unique, I couldn’t - for the life of me - feel any kind of interest or emotion towards these poems.
Detached and bored. That was me while reading this work.
I’m sorry but this was just simply not for me \_(ツ)_/ ...more
In this collection the frame and context is wide. The poems' subjects are personal, historical, and political.
I found many of the poems moving, but the 2nd section of historical poems reckoning with the United State's hist ...more
Though it is only 75 pages, Tracy K. Smith’s Wade in the Water packs a punch. And it should. She is the Poet Laureate of the United States. Her poetry is raw, honest, and de ...more
In another derivative poem, "I Will Tell You the Truth about This, I Wi ...more
An example of how, when history becomes too altered by political agenda to ...more
I go back and forth on the perceived originality of the "black-out" Declaration of Independence poems and "found" slave-letter poems, but, in all fairness, I probably wouldn't have encountered the texts in any other context.
I was most sold on the final (of four) group of poems, in which Smith portrays the parenting experience in a voice I haven't encounte ...more
Smith gets a little lost in abstraction. I couldn’t tell you what was happening or what some of the poems were about, but overall it was still worth the read.
Few practice, but all, or near all speak?”
Tired, empty, hating what I carry
But afraid to lay it down, stingy,
Angry, doing violence to others
By the sheer freight of my gloom,
Halfway home, wanting to stop, to quit
But keeping going mostly out of spite.”