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Poet Tracy K. Smith: Life On Mars

Tracy K. Smith on her new work “Life on Mars” – we’ll talk grief, justice, and outer space and NASA in the family.

The perfectly picturesque spiral galaxy known as Messier 81, or M81, looks sharp in this new composite from NASA's Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes and NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer. (NASA)

The perfectly picturesque spiral galaxy known as Messier 81, or M81, looks sharp in this new composite from NASA's Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes and NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer. (NASA)

Tracy K. Smith’s father worked on the Hubble space telescope. Came home bursting with pride when Hubble unveiled the universe.

Little did he know his daughter would be such a poet. That she would run and run with those images. Out to the ends of the cosmos. In to the heart of human joy and grief.

Tracy Smith’s new collection is called “Life on Mars”. It takes us far away, and very close to home. “We are part of it,” she writes of the universe and its mysteries. “Not guests.”

This hour On Point: poet Tracy K. Smith and “Life on Mars.”

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Tracy K. Smith, a poet and educator, she has published three collections of poetry. About her most recent collection, Life on Mars.

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Tracy K. Smith Reads From ‘Life of Mars’

Poetry Readings During The Show

The Weather in Space

Is God being or pure force? The wind
Or what commands it? When our lives slow
And we can hold all that we love, it sprawls
In our laps like a gangly doll. When the storm
Kicks up and nothing is ours, we go chasing
After all we’re certain to lose, so alive—
Faces radiant with panic

Tracy K. Smith. “Weather In Space,” from Life on Mars. Copyright © 2011 by Tracy K. Smith. Reprinted with the permission of Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota, www.graywolfpress.org.

My God, It’s Full of Stars – (Section) 1

We like to think of it as parallel to what we know,
Only bigger. One man against the authorities.
Or one man against a city of zombies. One man

Who is not, in fact, a man, sent to understand
The caravan of men now chasing him like red ants
Let loose down the pants of America. Man on the run.

Man with a ship to catch, a payload to drop,
This message going out to all of space. . . . Though
Maybe it’s more like life below the sea: silent,

Buoyant, bizarrely benign. Relics
Of an outmoded design. Some like to imagine
A cosmic mother watching through a spray of stars,

Mouthing yes, yes as we toddle toward the light,
Biting her lip if we teeter at some ledge. Longing
To sweep us to her breast, she hopes for the best

While the father storms through adjacent rooms
Ranting with the force of Kingdom Come,
Not caring anymore what might snap us in its jaw.

Sometimes, what I see is a library in a rural community.
All the tall shelves in the big open room. And the pencils
In a cup at Circulation, gnawed on by the entire population.

The books have lived here all along, belonging
For weeks at a time to one or another in the brief sequence
Of family names, speaking (at night mostly) to a face,

A pair of eyes. The most remarkable lies.

Tracy K. Smith. “My God, It’s Full of Stars,” from Life on Mars. Copyright © 2011 by Tracy K. Smith. Reprinted with the permission of Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota, www.graywolfpress.org.

It & Co.

We are a part of It. Not guests.
Is It us, or what contains us?
How can It be anything but an idea,
Something teetering on the spine
Of the number i? It is elegant
But coy. It avoids the blunt ends
Of our fingers as we point. We
Have gone looking for It everywhere:
In Bibles and bandwidth, blooming
Like a wound from the ocean floor.
Still, It resists the matter of false vs. real.
Unconvinced by our zeal, It is un-
Appeasable. It is like some novels:
Vast and unreadable.

Tracy K. Smith. “It & Co.,” from Life on Mars. Copyright © 2011 by Tracy K. Smith. Reprinted with the permission of Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota, www.graywolfpress.org.

The Good Life

When some people talk about money
They speak as if it were a mysterious lover
Who went out to buy milk and never
Came back, and it makes me nostalgic
For the years I lived on coffee and bread,
Hungry all the time, walking to work on payday
Like a woman journeying for water
From a village without a well, then living
One or two nights like everyone else
On roast chicken and red wine.

Tracy K. Smith. “The Good Life,” from Life on Mars. Copyright © 2011 by Tracy K. Smith. Reprinted with the permission of Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota, www.graywolfpress.org.

The Speed of Belief – (Excerpt)
In memoriam, Floyd William Smith 1935–2008

When your own sweet father died
You woke before first light
And ate half a plate of eggs and grits,
And drank a glass of milk.

After you’d left, I sat in your place
And finished the toast bits with jam
And the cold eggs, the thick bacon
Flanged in fat, savoring the taste.

Then I slept, too young to know how narrow
And grave the road before you seemed—
All the houses zipped tight, the night’s
Few clouds muddy as cold coffee.

You stayed gone a week, and who were we
Without your clean profile nicking away
At anything that made us afraid?
One neighbor sent a cake. We ate

The baked chickens, the honeyed hams.
We bowed our heads and prayed
You’d come back safe,
Knowing you would.

Tracy K. Smith. “The Speed of Belief ,” from Life on Mars. Copyright © 2011 by Tracy K. Smith. Reprinted with the permission of Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota, www.graywolfpress.org.

When Your Small Form Tumbled into Me

I lay sprawled like a big-game rug across the bed:
Belly down, legs wishbone-wide. It was winter.
Workaday. Your father swung his feet to the floor.
The kids upstairs dragged something back and forth
On shrieking wheels. I was empty, blown-through
By whatever swells, swirling, and then breaks
Night after night upon that room. You must have watched
For what felt like forever, wanting to be
What we passed back and forth between us like fire.
Wanting weight, desiring desire, dying
To descend into flesh, fault, the brief ecstasy of being.
From what dream of world did you wriggle free?
What soared—and what grieved—when you aimed your will
At the yes of my body alive like that on the sheets?

Tracy K. Smith. “When Your Small Form Tumbled into Me,” from Life on Mars. Copyright © 2011 by Tracy K. Smith. Reprinted with the permission of Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota, www.graywolfpress.org.

Don’t You Wonder, Sometimes?

Bowie is among us. Right here
In New York City. In a baseball cap
And expensive jeans. Ducking into
A deli. Flashing all those teeth
At the doorman on his way back up.
Or he’s hailing a taxi on Lafayette
As the sky clouds over at dusk.
He’s in no rush. Doesn’t feel
The way you’d think he feels.
Doesn’t strut or gloat. Tells jokes.

I’ve lived here all these years
And never seen him. Like not knowing
A comet from a shooting star.
But I’ll bet he burns bright,
Dragging a tail of white-hot matter
The way some of us track tissue
Back from the toilet stall. He’s got
The whole world under his foot,
And we are small alongside,
Though there are occasions

When a man his size can meet
Your eyes for just a blip of time
And send a thought like SHINE
SHINE SHINE SHINE SHINE
Straight to your mind. Bowie,
I want to believe you. Want to feel
Your will like the wind before rain.
The kind everything simply obeys,
Swept up in that hypnotic dance
As if something with the power to do so
Had looked its way and said:

Go ahead.

Tracy K. Smith. “Don’t You Wonder, Sometimes?” from Life on Mars. Copyright © 2011 by Tracy K. Smith. Reprinted with the permission of Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota, www.graywolfpress.org.

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  • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

    Saw Tracy K. Smith on the NewsHour a while back. Brilliant.

  • Winston Smith

    I can save America billions of dollars and lots of time by categorically stating that there is no life on Mars or any other planet other than earth for the matter.  God created angels and He created life on earth.  When man exercised His free will and chose to eat the fruit that God told him not to eat, he fell from grace.  But God, wanting to reconcile man back to Himself, sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross as payment for our sins for all who would believe and be born again.  And the Bible says that one day, Jesus, the eternal God, is coming back to establish His eternal kingdom on earth (not Mars, or anywhere else).  If God had created intelligent life on other planets, He would have given them a free will (as He did with man and angels) and would have to go from planet to planet to die for the sins of that species as He would want to reconcile them to Himself just as He did man.  There is no Biblical support for that whatsoever.

    No doubt someone will argue that given the vastness of the universe and the number of planets, that there must be life somewhere.  But that ignores the fact the creation was God’s deliberate choice rather than some random act that supposedly happened billions of years ago.  Romans 1 clearly argues that God’s eternal existence and intelligence is clearly seen through the complexity and balance of what He created and those who choose to ignore that irrefutable evidence are without excuse.  One day, everyone will bow their knee and confess that Jesus Christ is LORD OF ALL.

    • Cory

      I’d just like to know how you’ll react if microbial life is found on Mars or one of Jupiter’s moons.  Will it destroy your faith?

      • Winston Smith

        They won’t.  The only thing that could happen is that some activist scientist would find a way to somehow plant a microbe on the planet and then use it to claim that there was life on other planets. Sort of like pro-evolutionary “scientists” who fell for the fraud of piltdown man and other hoaxes because their religion of evolution has so blinded them to objective scientific inquiry that they drew their conclusion and then searched to find supporting “evidence”, albeit flimsy or non-existent.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Some call the people that don’t believe the Official Conspiracy Theory of 9/11, as kooks for saying some evidence was manufactured!

        • Anonymous

          Piltdown Man was exposed as a fraud by scientists not by religious claims.  Science is not a religion.  It constantly seeks to improve knowledge (disgarding what is incorrect) and not to twist reality to fit myths.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          If we find a microbe on another planet, we’ll be able to determine if it’s contamination from Earth or not.  That’s what mapping its genome allows us to do, a technique given to us by science.

      • Anonymous

        How do we know that god didn’t send his only microbe to Mars to save them too?

    • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

      What on earth does this have to do with the author Tracy K. Smith or her poetry? It’s the title of a book of poetry for Christ’s sake.

    • Anonymous

      I won’t. 

      • Winston Smith

        You most certainly will.  The only problem is that if you don’t do it in this life when the opportunity to have forgiveness of sins and eternal life exists,then you will do it before the judgment seat of God, after which you will be thrust into an eternity of torment without God.

        • Anonymous

          No, I’ll just be dead.  So will you. 

          • Winston Smith

            You will wish that death resulted in annihilation,but it is simply the beginning of our individual eternity that is determined by the deliberate choices that we make in this life.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            It’s interesting how your God and American politicians have a lot in common.  If you don’t choose me, you’re unpatriotic…

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Good point!  A drunk AWOL, Deserter, and a bunch of draft-dodgers, tried to tell this, and a lot of other honorable-discharged vets, WE weren’t partiots, because we questioned their wars!

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            You’re either with us, or you’re against us.  Faced with that choice, I usually pick against.

          • Anonymous

            I won’t wish.  I’ll be dead. 

          • Ellen Dibble

            Why do I think you must be pretty young?  I’m in my 60s, and the older I get the more I think you know what?  I’ve done the best I can with the cards I’ve been dealt.  There will always be unfinished business that only I could have done, but I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.  So when I die, I hope there is nobody taking over my jihad, so to speak, and I hope that the struggle that is at my essence rejoins the elements without baggage.  
                 The idea that my life has all this baggage gets worse and worse; the baggage gets more and more specific to me over time.  It gets real hard to square that with rebirth in the afterlife or any meaningful judgment according to anything we can conceive of on earth.  It seems to me religion that hopes to manipulate people the way politicians do (the way the Holy Roman Empire with their tithes sought to do, with forgiveness available for a price), is religion that suits the unimaginative.  Religion can be more than that.  It can direct us to live wholly in the moment, be all we can be while we know more or less who we are, rather than invest totally in the hereafter.  What a gamble.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          That’s what you believe.  Perhaps Odin will ask you why you haven’t fought for the Aesir, rather than siding with the frost giants.  How will you answer?

        • Ellen Dibble

          Sometimes I think the transmigration of souls — mine at least — gets to begin even BEFORE I die.  Have you ever stood in a field, tuned in or tuned out, anyway with consciousness somewhat displaced from the ordinary, only to see a butterfly pick up what remains of your consciousness and lift it up, or a dog faking disinterestedness suddenly lick its chops and trot off apparently taking the missing part of you with it?
              No.  Call it the transmigration of fools.
              The ultimate groupies are the ones who want to freeze their perspective on what we don’t understand.  I understand the need to huddle when the weather is bad, but it doesn’t change the weather.  Wait.  Sometimes it does.  I’ll never understand it.

    • http://bookofzo.blogspot.com Joshua Hendrickson

      I can’t imagine a worse universe to live in than yours. That you choose gladly such a place, and try to force it upon everyone else with your cosmic threats, speaks volumes about the kind of human being (and I use the term loosely) you are. Happily, the evidence available suggests that your view of the universe, though traditional, is delusional.

      I have said many times that you don’t deserve your screen name (assuming that it isn’t the actual name on your birth certificate). But now, I retract those claims. I will take your name as an accurate–and tragic–reflection of the final pages of Nineteen-Eighty-Four. You could not be more pathetic, Winston Smith, because YOU LOVE BIG BROTHER. You call him Jesus, but he’s still the Lord of Room 101 in the Ministry of Love: torture and terror are the means by which the tyrant demands obedience, submission, and love.

  • Yar

    @ @92335a75f7072bb4d4f8aadb348ff179:disqus Does your faith depend on Earth being the only planet with life?  Can life exist across the universe and God exist at the same time? I believe it can, I choose to believe both in evolution and God.  Worship of literal-ism is worship of an idea, not a creator.  I don’t know how the universe is created, I don’t know how God made something from nothing, but that miracle is enough for me to believe, I see the holy texts as a useful manual for living, but I don’t get hung up on the six days of creation. I have read, to God a day is a thousand years.   I embrace the knowledge of science, it strengthens my faith.  Why would finding life on Mars make God love you any less?  When a parent has more than one child, do they love their children less?  To believe God is not capable creating more than one world is creating God in Man’s image.  I believe more than I understand. Don’t limit your belief to only what you understand, because it limits your faith.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      EXCELLENT!! 

    • Anonymous

      God was created in man’s image. 

  • Brett

    I’ve never really seen myself as a guest of the universe…more of a tenant. We are all tenants, in a manner of speaking…let’s hope the universe is more forgiving than some landlords…I wonder how long after the eviction notice do we Earthlings have to evacuate?

  • Charlie mc

            Where was “time”; where was “space”, when all was located within a “point of no dimensions”? That is as far as astrophysics can take us.
    Yet all of space, time, matter and energy emerged from within that point of no dimensions. “Withinness” holds the mystery which as such can be contemplated but cannot be “solved” as if it were a problem.
          Yet as we contemplate this cosmos we experience true awe and like Job and chant the psalm, “What is man, that You care for him?”

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    In the movie “Contact,” Dr. Arroway looks out at the beauty of the galaxy and whispers, “They should have sent a poet.”

    Of course, we need to send scientists and poets.

    • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

      Absolutely and I recommend Tracy K. Smith.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    I look at the stars that I can see, knowing that there are a billion times that many, or more, and see the number of possibilities!   To think that God only populated one planet, with only one type of sentinent beings, is ignorant hubris, to me!  Each to his own belief.  I cannot see those arrogant limitations!

  • Ellen Dibble

    Poetry needs to reclaim its power.  Am I the only one who learned language from poetry?  Nursery rhymes, yes, but also everything from Ninety-Nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall to The Wasteland.  
        What is odd is that those poems were so mysterious.  Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack jump over the candlestick.
        Maybe there’s some rule that children have to absorb language before there is anything comprehensible about the wide world, so mostly it’s ancient meaning, or Jabberwocky, none at all.
        So I’m trying to imagine a child about 18 months old listening to Tracy Smith’s poems, listening for how it would resonate through till that child is 60, 70, 80, 90.  

  • Ellen Dibble

    Is God being?  Did Tom say she asks this?  Does she say to people “Bye”?  “Good-bye”?  That would be, “God be with you.”  Or “Be with you.”  In other words, in parting, there is something connecting us, we intend, and we name it God.  I can understand that much of it.  We name the unnameable, whether or not…

  • Katie Redford

    Good show. 
    Is the poet a fan of the wonderful  BBC TV Series “Life on Mars” that explores the same life/death/existence issues that her poetry touches?

    • Anonymous

      I enjoyed that series too.  Was the sequel, Ashes to Ashes, good?

      • Onsaonsa

        much better than the f-kin AWFUL prequel, the Laughing Gnome…yechhhhh

  • Russell

    please find out if she wants a husband. I’d be a great Won. what a gorgeous, brilliant  spirit!!!! 

    • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

      Great comment. I think she’s married with child. Search the NewsHour site and watch the piece on her, it’s brilliant and we see her family in it.

  • Wabisabi4435

    Wondering if Ms Smith is familiar with the “Selfish Biocosm Hypothesis” which seems to coincide with her own view of the living Universe?

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Caller, yes, you are pontificating.  I have a book that declares the ancient gods as the creators.  I also have a book that identifies natural forces as the creator.  What’s your point?

  • http://www.facebook.com/eric.iannuccilli Eric Iannuccilli

    Todays show Makes me think of the Whitman Poem  ” When I heard the Learned Astonomer”    .   Beautiful writing with a beautiful voice. 

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      That’s a wretched piece of verse.  His claim is that science is boring and naive awe is best.  I far prefer Mark Twain’s essay about two ways of seeing a river.

      • rob stolzy

        Actually it is a very poignant verse expressing a core sentiment stirring within sensitive observers of that time, as it does still. The mid to late 19th century was the height of philosophical materialism and hubris. Now we are gradually shifting back and the generated friction is obvious. Also, typically for a materialist, your reading of the poem’s intent is mistaken. It does not purport that science is boring or characterized by naive awe. It observes with disgust that the scientific mindset exemplified by the lecturer is tragically one-sided, and removed and abstracted away from a pure phenomenological apprehending of the night sky. Science does not have to be this way, but it often is.  The astronomer more puffed up with the ‘elegant’ reductionism of his factual comprehension has traded away and dimmed the pure sensory perceptual experience of taking in the night sky with wonder and devotion. This has epistemological implications for those still awake enough to notice. We can perceive and cognize more, something different, when our hubris and conceptualizing is replaced by the immediacy of humility during observation, scientific or otherwise.

  • Nathalie Miebach

    My father also worked for the Hubble Space Telescope for over 20 years. He was an engineer who worked on the cameras on the Hubble. I remember him bringing home images of the Hubble and his excitement when he would show them to us over the dinner table. He also had a small model of the Hubble which stood on top of our piano.
    Many years later, I ended up becoming a sculptor who focuses on translating science data into woven structures. I can trace the beginning of that artistic journey back to those images my father brought home and his enthusiasm at being a part of this project.  I believe for him these images held more than just science. They held a visual window into unanswered questions within him. Perhaps that remains the most powerful impact of Hubble – it makes us keep questioning who we are.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I think the “private” poems Smith is speaking of writing would be called by composers the “etudes,” the studies, the practices.  They too matter.  But art is not complete without the reflection back, and I’m sure a growing artist is constantly tuning to the way the poem is heard and absorbed, throughout the culture, or whatever he or she cares about.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/eric.iannuccilli Eric Iannuccilli

    Not how i read it  at all. science with its majesctic all encompasing stance burdens it own explanations when all one might need is to look up to reclaim perspective

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      When I look at the stars, my eyes see points of light.  Science tells me what my eyes can’t see.

      • http://www.facebook.com/eric.iannuccilli Eric Iannuccilli

        Science tells us both what are eyes can’t see and describes what we do ( sometimes tediously ) . Twains essay  reveals only the truth of what may happen as knowledge gained . But i am certain after years off the river, when that knowledge was not so immediate and necessary, but ingrained and woven more subtly into his view  , he saw that same beauty again or a new one a little more informed and still as grand.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          The new knowledge doesn’t take away the beauty.  Read Carl Sagan’s writings.  He was involved in the Voyager missions to the planets, and he had a deep reverence for the universe.

  • TAYLOR

    WHAT A BEAUTIFUL COLLECTION OF POEMS. THANK YOU FOR  SHARING WITH THE REST OF US MERE MORTALS.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Doesn’t an engineer need poetry in her/his soul, to be able to bring ideas to being?

  • Roxanne

    Two of the most vivid thoughts I have about the stars include a co-worker who lost his daughter and, then, his wife because of their unresolved grief.  While he was tormented by depression, he found solace in having a star named after his daughter – viewing the stars allowed him to stay in touch with her spirit.

    The other is that I lived in Vermont and amongst the knobs of Kentucky.  In those two places, unlike the suburbs I’ve lived in offered ethereal views of the stars.  While the suburbs shadow the stars because of the “city lights,” sitting in near wilderness, in the darkest of darkness, I was, and am, overwhelmed by the stars, feeling connected with a greater, purer force.  I am able to forget the science that define stars and feel one with those who have experienced the brilliance, largeness of a universe of which we are only very small particles.

  • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

    Great advice for everyone, not just poets by Tracy Smith:

    “Read against taste.”

    Brilliant.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Perhaps in the face of death, the cosmos seems more stable.  I happened to search the net last night for two houses from the knowable cosmos of my childhood, my childhood home and the larger house up the street where my grandparents lived.  Well, the cosmos is gone.  The childhood home is there, though its value has gone down by half in four years.  The other home, the castle with the keeper’s cottage and many trained gardens and everything grand — that home looks like a keeper’s cottage itself, and is also up for sale. Where the swimming pool used to be, and the keeper’s cottage, there is a newly constructed, enormous, vastly vaster home.  Somebody sold off some of the land, and the value of that grandparent house is more of less the cost of normal homes  now.  
        So the loss of the people involved, my relatives, is overshadowed by the loss of that cosmos.  Where is the brook?  Where is the neighborhood?  The factories apparently left, and uber-wealthy people moved in.  In the stars, too, changes happen.

  • Roxanne

    I am also reminded during this discussion of “The Martian Child” who was only convinced that he didn’t have to return to Mars because he was grounded in the love of his adoptive father.  Do we seek the universe and the stars as destinations, an untouchable beauty, because we find our lives in these days so ugly, so unloving?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      We’re explorers by nature.  We all started in Africa, but humanity surged out across the globe.  Now we should be moving out beyond this planet.

  • Joanhannah

    As a poet and lover of language, I am extremely moved by Tracy K Smith’s poetry. No one has spoken about beauty, but I think that that is a main feature of her poetry, and the point of all poetry.

  • Christine Brooks

    I can not find your posting of your August 31st show. I want the name of the Hip Hop artist his book and CD. christinebrooks22@gmail.com Thanks.

  • Ssgabster

    You know, why must Fundamentalists get into it all the time??  My father was a minister in a Fundy church and now is agnostic.  The world is a huge, amazing place full of things we barely understand….don’t you think that the unseen world is just as amazing and unfathomable?  It is all energy….

  • Pingback: Repairs & Rewards | Just a Footnote

  • GARY

    BORING…..

  • Shoes1

    Here’s a Poet Laureate in the making!  Better than Mya, less pretentious than Nikki and, eats the lunch of all the men, except Frost. She’s encouragement for all who still respect the art, wondered what the latest morph would be, and yearn to have a hand in creating it.

  • http://bookofzo.blogspot.com Joshua Hendrickson

    Perhaps I misheard this, but the line “My God–it’s full of stars!” is not from Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is from the Peter Hyams-directed sequel, 2010. It’s a good line from a good movie, but like the sequel itself, such a line of dialogue is utterly unnecessary–the imagery in 2001 is far more eloquent on its own.

  • Jmschleicher

    just so much wonder gets unloosed by her words, phrases.  I feel more alive reading them!  I will savor her words, so original – Joan Schleicher

  • Shanna

    Her poetry is so beautiful, thank you for the show today!  Hearing a piece of it made my day.  I love “When Your Small Form Tumbled Into Me.”

  • Onsaonsa

    about sound and vision~~~

  • A simple man

    Wonderful the depths a poet can abide in.
    We are so close to knowing our own origin, yet this day as a civilization, a humanity, knowing might as well be billion light years away.
    The truth is simple and elegant. It includes everything and excludes nothing. Tracy’s grasp of the reality of it brings us one step closer to knowing. Thank you!

  • Lee

    It was Starman with Jeff Bridges.

  • Tim E

    The cosmos is like a father.  We live in awe of it, and at the end we realize that it, too, is mortal.

  • Enragedlee712

    Original & lyrical.

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The “Do-Nothing” Congress just days before August recess. We’ll look at the causes and costs to the country of D.C. paralysis.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
This 15-Year-Old Caller Is Really Disappointed With Congress
Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014

In which a 15-year-old caller from Nashville expertly and elegantly analyzes our bickering, mostly ineffective 113th Congress.

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Our Week In The Web: July 25, 2014
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

Why the key to web victory is often taking a break and looking around, and more pie for your viewing (not eating) pleasure.

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The Art Of The American Pie: Recipes
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

In the odd chance that our pie hour this week made you hungry — how could it not, right? — we asked our piemaking guests for some of their favorite pie recipes. Enjoy!

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