“All glam-glow, all twinkle and gold”: Tracy K. Smith’s “Don’t You Wonder, Sometimes?” (RIP David Bowie)

Tracy K. Smith-Bowie

Since David Bowie has left us for what I’m guessing must be some sort of starsplitting transcendent plane, it’s only appropriate this week to feature Tracy K. Smith’s gorgeous and evocative “Don’t You Wonder, Sometimes?” from her appropriately titled collection Life on Mars

The poem has been making the rounds this week—justifiably so—because it hones in on the multi-persona man as a way to consider the big questions about time, space, death, and belief. In the poem, Bowie is both an otherworldly immortal figure and one of us—just immeasurably cooler (literally, in part two of the poem). I pretty much want to quote the whole poem right now, so please read it. 

Bowie was an avid reader, and if you’re craving more bookish Bowie goodness, head over to BookRiot to check out their list (from summer 2015) of all things books and Bowie.

Turns out I can’t resist quoting the poem:


And how many lives

Before take-off, before we find ourselves

Beyond ourselves, all glam-glow, all twinkle and gold?


Safe travels, Starman.