From the cover to the sequencing, from the command of the line to the glide from essay to poem to prose to meditation, Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric is a must read. There’s persona, then there is the poem as both an intellectual scaffold and an actual body. The disorienting inhabiting of another’s body, the sharp, sudden awareness of bodies as entities we can and can’t see, let alone hold, is urgently unsettling. You can get a sense of the power of the book here, but really, you just have to read it.
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