Citizen: An American Lyric (Rankine)

I’d read plenty about the currency of Rankine’s writing. Everything from the cover to the last poem suggests urgency. I’d read about how Rankine’s use of the second person works as advertised. I was brought into the challenging prose. All along, though, I wondered. Is it art? Is it poetry?

Short answer: Absolutely.

Rankine has a way of repeating words that allows her to explore fully the nuances of their meaning. She also summons images, often the small moments (sometimes the microaggressions), in a way that allows us to feel the largely unpleasant experience (The world is wrong. You can’t put the past behind you. It’s / buried in you; it’s turned your flesh into its own cupboard.)The prose form (can anyone define this?) suits her. Her accounts are meant to be newscasts of sorts. Breaking news. Complete, quite often, with pictures.

Read, re-read, and share.

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/249640

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