Life on Mars: Poems Themes & Motifs

Tracy K. Smith
This Study Guide consists of approximately 59 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Life on Mars.
This section contains 3,139 words
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The Generative Power of Imagination

Throughout the collection Smith engages in an imaginative relationship with the world in order to emphasize the significance of imagination as a coping mechanism.

In part one of the collection, Smith uses imagination as a means of coping with the mysteries of the universe. In the first long form poem of the book, “My God, It’s Full of Stars,” the speaker begins by offering a list of ways in which people imagine themselves in relation to the universe. “We like to think of it as a parallel to what we know,/only bigger. One man against the authorities./Or one man against a city of zombies,” the speaker says (8). Each of these conceptions of the universe is an attempt by humans to rationalize the absurdity of the sheer extent of space and time. Meanwhile the speaker themselves prefers to shrink the...

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This section contains 3,139 words
(approx. 8 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Life on Mars: Poems  Study Guide
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