Use this space to post whatever you wrote as your book club "journal"
I will share mine:
I’ve worked with this poem a lot for this very exercise for a lot of years. Students always think I know the answers. But I don’t. Each time I read the piece, If feel like I come away with a different idea. I feel like the speaker is a woman because woman have historically been the people who cook. And I feel like they are running--stream of conscious, the way you might talk inside your own head--running through a meal--perhaps it is the end of summer (she talks about eyelet, a fabric I associate exclusively with women and with summer), and there is a feast, and end to the summer. But there is a kind of sadness, a kind of nostalgia to the piece--I get this because I feel like that’s why she is always saying something is or isn’t. It’s trying to get at a feeling or a precise language aroudn what she is thinking thorough. I keep focusing in on that line “a rested development”. The idea of being rested, of being ready. The idea of a development--or something that has developed over time. That also feeds into this idea of nostalgia for something not necessarily lost but something passing, something done. A feast, a summer feast after a harvest could feel that way. I know some things about GS, and so I sometimes wonder if this is about the passing of a time of fertility. Food standing in for the production and care of something. Don’t know. Just thinking through. When I read the material on Stein, I think about the stuff about cubism--how this feels like a verbal kind of cubism--it makes a picture of something, but it can be difficult to determine what. It demands we look at each individual cube, and here I think her language does that. It forces us to read both the sentences that make sense and the ones that don’t. This for me makes it possible to imagine this as stream-of-consciousness, a review, perhaps while cooking, of a life, perhaps a life in middle age, which would correspond to an end of summer.