Each new line of this book follows the last with devastating clarity and precision. Rankine asks what it means to be American in the age of terrorism, prescription medication, and cancer. What does it even mean to be alive? Are you even alive? Look at the television. No, really, look at it. Look at it. It's on every other page.— Sarah G.
Rankine is probably the greatest living poet—and while Citizen may be a better place to start for its range and its political application, Don't Let Me Be Lonely is by comparison a much more intimate experience, like the poems were written in a whisper on the top of a bridge. The arms of these poems ache because they are reaching out to you, dear reader. Take them.— Kyle
In this powerful sequence of TV images and essay, Claudia Rankine explores the personal and political unrest of our volatile new century
I forget things too. It makes me sad. Or it makes
me the saddest. The sadness is not really about
George W. or our American optimism; the
sadness lives in the recognition that a life can
The award-winning poet Claudia Rankine, well known for her experimental multigenre writing, fuses the lyric, the essay, and the visual in this politically and morally fierce examination of solitude in the rapacious and media-driven assault on selfhood that is contemporary America. With wit and intelligence, Rankine strives toward an unprecedented clarity-of thought, imagination, and sentence-making-while arguing that recognition of others is the only salvation for ourselves, our art, and our government.
Don't Let Me Be Lonely is an important new confrontation with our culture, with a voice at its heart bewildered by its inadequacy in the face of race riots, terrorist attacks, medicated depression, and the antagonism of the television that won't leave us alone.