Skip navigation to main content

Featured Poem: My God, It’s Full of Stars by Tracy K. Smith

Written by Isobel Lobo, 9th January 2023

This week's Featured Poem is read to you by Jamie, and she has chosen to read an extract from 'My God, It's Full of Stars' by Tracy K. Smith.

If you enjoyed this poem, Jamie runs a science fiction themed shared reading group at Calderstones Mansion House, reading short stories, extracts and poems like this every Tuesday from 4 pm - 5.30 pm. Email to find out more!

If you're a volunteer, this poem can be found in The Reader anthology, 'Sun & Moon', which can be accessed here.

My God, It's Full of Stars

Perhaps the great error is believing we’re alone,

That the others have come and gone—a momentary blip—

When all along, space might be choc-full of traffic,

Bursting at the seams with energy we neither feel

Nor see, flush against us, living, dying, deciding,

Setting solid feet down on planets everywhere,

Bowing to the great stars that command, pitching stones

At whatever are their moons. They live wondering

If they are the only ones, knowing only the wish to know,

And the great black distance they—we—flicker in.

Maybe the dead know, their eyes widening at last,

Seeing the high beams of a million galaxies flick on

At twilight. Hearing the engines flare, the horns

Not letting up, the frenzy of being. I want to be

One notch below bedlam, like a radio without a dial.

Wide open, so everything floods in at once.

And sealed tight, so nothing escapes. Not even time,

Which should curl in on itself and loop around like smoke.

So that I might be sitting now beside my father

As he raises a lit match to the bowl of his pipe

For the first time in the winter of 1959.

by Tracy K. Smith

Tracy K. Smith, “My God, It’s Full of Stars” from Such Color: New and Selected Poems. Copyright ©2011 by Tracy K. Smith. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota,

Contact us

Get in touch and be part of the story
You can also speak to us on: 0151 729 2200
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.