Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric
- “Some Years There Exists A Wanting To Escape”
- “You are in the dark, in the car”
- “A woman you do not know wants to join you for lunch”
- “On the train the woman standing”
Read the readings above and answer the questions below.
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- How does the form (longer lines, more prose like than poetry at times) affect the overall feel of these poems? Does the structure have any impact on theme?
- What do these poems have to say about race? Identity?
- In “A woman you do not know wants to join you for lunch,” Rankine writes:A friend argues that Americans battle between the “historical self” and the “self self.”” What does she mean by this.
- Rankine calls Citizen an “American Lyric.” How do these poems define or reflect contemporary America?
- How does the film, “Situation 7” affect the way you perceive the poem?