Answer these following questions from the video that is talking about please and thankyou!
Things to Notice/Interpretative Questions:
1) All of the poems, except for the last one, are untitled. (The last one is called “Stop-and-Frisk” and there is a video that corresponds to that poem). How does the absence of titles affect your ability to analyze the poems? How does it affect the meaning of the poems? Does the lack of titles actually help to emphasize a certain experience or idea that Rankine wants to convey? In other words, why do you think Rankine consciously chose not to title her poems?
2) Notice that the poems are “prose poems.” They do not look like typical poems because they aren’t lineated. Why should prose poems still be considered poems? Or maybe they shouldn’t? Does it even matter how we classify writing? What makes these paragraphs, these blocks of text, “poetic”? (There is no right way to answer these questions… it really just depends on the kind of experience that you have as you’re reading, which brings me to my next point…)
3) Notice what you feel as you read. Keep track of your feelings and emotions. Which parts are most powerful and meaningful to you? Which parts make you feel uncomfortable? What else do you feel as you read?
4) The poems keep referring to “you.” Who is this “you”? Who are the poems speaking to? Could the “you” be addressed to anyone who is reading the poems? Or will some readers not be able to relate to the kinds of experiences that the “you” in the poems have?
5) Do you think the poems represent experiences that Claudia Rankine has personally gone through? Why or why not? Is this book ultimately an expression of the poet’s real-life experiences or are the experiences described in the poems experiences that other people (not the poet herself) may have had? Do you think she’s collecting experiences that friends, family members, and even strangers have gone through and presenting them as poetry? Why do you think she frequently uses pronouns, “I” “she” “he” “you,” but doesn’t use any specific names?
Lastly, please watch the following interview with author Claudia Rankine:
Using poetry to uncover the moments that lead to racism