Life on Mars: Poems - Pages 25 - 34 Summary & Analysis

Tracy K. Smith
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Summary

The first poem of section two, “The Speed of Belief,” is a long form piece divided into seven sections, all focusing on the subject of the death of the poet/speaker’s father, as evidenced by the poem’s dedication to Floyd William Smith. In the first part of the poem, the speaker describes waiting by her father’s side in a silent hospital room, listening “for the rise/of breath, the burble in his throat” (27). Three times throughout the section the speaker repeats the phrase “I didn’t want” as they describe the tragic experience of having to let go but not being able to (27).

In the second section of the poem, the speaker describes the way their father reacted to the death of his own father, waking before sunrise, unable to finish his breakfast, and subsequently falling into a weak long...

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This section contains 2,008 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Life on Mars: Poems  Study Guide
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