Keely's Reviews > Wade in the Water: Poems

Wade in the Water by Tracy K. Smith
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it was amazing

Another great collection from Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith. In Wade in the Water, she gets more experimental than what I saw from her in Life on Mars. Section II features some compelling erasure poems, including "Declaration," which strategically erases verbiage from the Declaration of Independence to say something new about oppression in America. "I Will Tell You the Truth about This, I Will Tell You All about It" does the same thing with letters from former slaves seeking family, seeking justice, and black Civil War soldiers seeking their service pensions. Very powerful. At the same time, Wade in the Water still offers up many of the sharp, elegant lyric poems that first made me fall in love with Smith's poetry. A few of my favorites include "Deadly" and "Ghazal," which is an ekphrastic poem, written to a series of large-scale drawings by artist Kara Walker. I especially loved "Ash" for all its sound play and what it gradually reveals about the "house" it keeps talking about.

Tracy K. Smith is a great poet for readers who love poetry, and she'd be a great one to introduce to anyone who thinks they don't like poetry. She manages to be accessible while still knocking your socks off with the highly original things she's doing with language and ideas. I plan to read everything she's ever written, or ever will write.
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Reading Progress

May 25, 2019 – Shelved
May 25, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
June 3, 2019 – Started Reading
June 7, 2019 – Finished Reading

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