Two days ago, Tracy K. Smith was announced as the new Poet Laureate. She has published three volumes of poetry and received the Pulitzer Prize for her poetry collection entitled, Life on Mars. On the same day, I received an excerpt from her memoir, Ordinary Light, which is a National Book Award Finalist. The New York Times also wrote a special feature on Tracy K. Smith.
Poetry Friday is hosted this week by Carol of Carol’s Corner!
Photograph by Stephanie van Leeuwen.
THE ORDINARY LIFE
To rise early, reconsider, rise again later
to papers and the news. To smoke a few if time
permits and, second-guessing the weather,
dress. Another day of what we bring to it—
matters unfinished from days before,
regrets over matters we’ve finished poorly.
Just once you’d like to start out early,
free from memory and lighter for it.
Like Adam, on that first day: alone
but cheerful, no fear of the maker,
anything his for the naming; nothing
to shrink from, nothing to shirk,
no lot to carry that wasn’t by choice.
And at night, no voice to keep him awake,
no hurry to rise, no hurry not to.