“what’s that?”

I stopped into a local big-box bookstore this afternoon to pick up anything by Tracy Smith, the new Poet Laureate of the U.S., because I wanted a gift for my wife — an avid poetry reader — to have on her return home this evening from a week in Portland, seeing our granddaughter.

I could not find the poetry section and had to ask. I was then lead to a far corner of the store and to the four or five shelves devoted to poetry (which included Homer and all of the other Greek classics).

I told the woman helping me that Tracy Smith was the new Poet Laureate. She said, “What’s that?”

They did have a single slim volume of her work, Life on Mars, which I gladly bought.

I had a similar experience that I recounted here.

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One Comment on ““what’s that?””


  1. Ugh. Tracy Smith is one of my very favorite poets. I hope/and am sure that your wife will agree.


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