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Wade in the Water : Poems - by Tracy K. Smith (Hardcover)

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Shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot PrizeFinalist for the Forward Prize for Best CollectionThe 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 else

Are they so buffered against, if not love’s bladeSizing 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 everlasting street,Skirt lifted by a different kind of breeze.

—from “Unrest in Baton Rouge”

In Wade in the Water, Tracy K. Smith boldly ties America’s contemporary moment both to our nation’s 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. Smith’s signature voice—inquisitive, lyrical, and wry—turns 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 America’s essential poets.

Number of Pages: 83
Genre: Poetry
Sub-Genre: American
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux
Book theme: African American
Author: Tracy K. Smith
Language: English
Street Date: April 3, 2018
TCIN: 53421778
UPC: 9781555978136
Item Number (DPCI): 248-66-4112
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