What can Citizen teach me about Poetry?

Been digging deep for the next poetry collection. Filling a purple notebook with ideas, often written in prose.

Sometimes lines just spin out like poetry.

Then I type them up. During type up sometimes words and lineation change.

Sometimes metaphors are born.

Sometimes phrases that surprise HAPPEN!

Then I revisit them with what I have been discovering in my mentor texts. These texts suggest experiments. Things to try that I might not have done before. Or I see that I do something that poet does already.

Had some positive feedback from my mentor recently (and a new question) and the journey continues!

This is my reflection on Citizen and I have written some new poems based on this reflection (those are top secret for now).

Citizen by Claudia Rankin – Devices/Observations.

There are no titles only sections I – VII.

There is often a use of the second person you – to put reader in the shoes of the narrative speaker- the reader, you must inhabit the body of a black person.

Her series of vignettes is very prosaic at times but then there are these massively poetic metaphorical lines that just pop out at you

‘the sky is the silence of brothers'(p. 89 in citizen- very moving )

‘a novelist with the face of English sky’ (p. 115)

that said the work progressively becomes more and more poetic to express a depth of sorrow and critique of society that is indeed lyrical.

She mixes memoir, essay and the poetic. There is the mention of other texts and citations, like from James Baldwin. Something about the way she quotes them makes you want to read those intertexts.

There is the integration of photographs, surreal art works, multimedia scripts and more.There is an engagement with popular culture / tennis/ academic texts/ everyday life, news.

By referring to you I sometimes feel like the poet is in dialogue with herself, trying to understand herself, or the person she is embodying.

She deals very deeply with the objectifying of the ‘black body.’

She has great compassion that does not judge for the black person that rebels and responds to prejudice in the ways they have access to.

So what next? What do I read next after the mentor texts?

One thought on “What can Citizen teach me about Poetry?

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