1. Discuss the word citizen. How does the dictionary define this word Whatassociations does it carrybeyond the dictionary definition List

1. Discuss the word “citizen.” How does the dictionary define this word? What
associations does it carry—beyond the dictionary definition? List as many associations as you can think of.
2. According to the
Norton Handbook of Essential Literary Terms, a “lyric” is a poem in which “an individual speaker expresses what he or she feels, perceives, and thinks, usually in the first person (‘I’).”1
Review the first paragraph of
Citizen
on p. 5. How is Rankine subverting this conventional understanding of the lyric poem?
3. Discuss the image on the cover of the work. What is depicted? What associations does
this image conjure? You’ll find the title of this image in the book’s front matter. What is
the title? What does the title add to your understanding of the image? How does the image relate to the title of the book? What issues, tensions, problems, or events does it evoke?
4. An epigraph is a quotation included at the very beginning of a piece of writing to give the reader a sense of what the work will be about or to suggest its themes. Discuss the epigraph by Chris Marker included opposite the copyright information in the first few pages of
Citizen. What does the epigraph suggest to you about Rankine’s
work?

 

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