Tracy K. Smith's 'The Speed Of Belief'

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Everyone copes with grief in his or her own ways. Tracy K. Smith, the poet laureate of the United States and author of the poem book Life on Mars, chose to deal with the grief from her father’s death in a unique way, by writing elegiac poems. Elegiac poems can either represent a personal grief or a broader feeling of loss and metaphysical sadness. Smith’s “The Speed of Belief”’ represents a metaphysical sadness as she attempts to gain hope for her father’s existence after death.
Momentarilyafter the death of Tracy K. Smith’s mother , she had to endure the death of her father and as a lament for his death, Smith turned to poetry. Smith’s father was a scientist that worked on the Hubble telescope so in some of her poems, such as “The Speed of Belief ,”Smith tries to envision her father floating around in the cosmos. In an interview with Claire Schwartz, when speaking about life without both parents, Tracy K. Smith expressed how losing a father not long after losing a mother put her “ back in a place of grief. But it was different because [she] was older... [she] was invested in imagining what [she] needed them to become apart of “ (“Moving Towards What I Don’t Know: An Interview With Tracy K. …show more content…

Taylor Hagood did a review on Tracy K. Smith’s “The Speed of Belief “ and observed how, while Smith’s father worked on the Hubble Telescope, “this tremendous thing he has helped create still cannot allow anyone to see far enough to find whatever beyond he might now inhabit” (Hagood). But that did not stop Smith. She was able to imagine him lost in the cosmos but still close enough to watch over her. She believed that even though she could not see or touch him, that he was still with her in a sort of way.In the last few stanzas of “The Speed of Belief “ Smith asks herself what her father will become.In the end, she finally decides

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