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.
5/27/2021 01:13:23 pm
This poem seems like a way to describe something. It seems like a list of things being subsequently described. Yet the descriptions seem unrelated to what’s been listed. For example, she structures the first two sections, ‘Here’s this, and here’s what it’s not’ or ‘here’s this, just repeated a few times.’ While the poem seems really confusing, this feeling may be exactly what the author wanted to evoke from her readings. Although what she has written is confusing, Stein has still written a poem. Her purpose might also be to suggest that there might not be a right or wrong way to do something, like write a poem or describe certain things. The complete ‘nonsense’ feeling of this poem might also be an attack on critics that believe writing must follow specific conventions.
Gabriel El Khoury
5/27/2021 01:14:02 pm
I interpret Stein’s “writing” as her sort of riffing, riffing almost like a musician would riff on an instrument, playing with language and exploring its full range of sounds. In her improvisation, she has freed herself from the constraints of pesky word meaning, which is a built-in limitation of writing - that every word needs to make sense in order for a sentence to operate as a sentence.
5/27/2021 01:20:50 pm
Although this poem is all over the place the only meaning I could gather from it would be a description of the author's life and their thoughts. It seems that this piece was meant to be a representation their mind and the idea that not everyone will be able to understand what you are thinking or even going through. It makes me feel like this author is anxious or an overthinker. When your mind is racing you begin to become overwhelmed which this piece did for the reader so I feel it was mean to make people feel that as well. This piece is making it known that thoughts running in your mind are not easy to comprehend and sometimes it's best to just let them flow or in this case write them down. Most of her work seems to be interpretive and I feel that this is exactly what this piece was meant to do. Interpreting the ideas and thoughts on your own that were written for this poem was the main aspect that needed to be explored.
5/27/2021 01:22:59 pm
Although I do believe this poem could have no meaning behind it, if it had to, I do believe it is a good representation of the struggles of ADHD in school. Some sentences contain very random words in it. For example, “This is today. A can experiment is that which makes a town, makes a town dirty, it is little please”. The makes a town dirty part could be where the student is getting side tracked. This can also be seen in the sentence, “Single fish single fish single fish egg-plant single fish sight.” Egg-plant has no correlation to the sentence and it could be the students mind starting to get de-railed from their thought process of memorizing the phrase “single fish”. After reading who the author is, I believe that it is describing her sexuality through objects and play-on words. She has struggled with discovering her identity and she wants her audience to struggle with it as well so they know how she felt. Because she is still trying to decide who she is, much of what she has written is still unknown. She wants her audience to want to know her and her story so she makes it difficult to do so because she had to want to learn to discover herself.
5/27/2021 01:23:44 pm
This poem could possibly represent the beginning of the school year. At first the beginning of the year may seem overwhelming, hard and scary but when it is broken down into smaller parts it’s not that scary, overwhelming or hard. Take each day one day at a time, take each reading assignment one line at a time. It’s not about the big picture, its about the process of getting there.
5/27/2021 01:25:34 pm
I think this poem could mean that it is okay to not understand something at first glance and that not everything is supposed to come "easy." This poem is supposed to make you think, but not without the initial panic that sets in after the first read through. This piece isn't meant to be defined by one concrete message or meaning as it is open for interpretation. I think the author is trying to convey a sense of confusion that isn't meant to be judged for. Reading takes practice and this piece is essentially to test you as a reader.
5/27/2021 02:59:26 pm
My initial reaction to this poem was feeling stressed, confused and it felt like my head was spinning. My energy seemed to be more on making sense of each line instead of finding the meaning. I recognized that nothing made sense. This reminded me of semantic cues, as I recently took my Foundations of Reading MTEL. I initially thought, oh, some of the running records I practiced evaluating had sentences and fragments like this. As a result, I suddenly thought less about me and more of how a student may feel when they read something for the first time. Even after reading the biography of the poet, I have a hard time understanding what the true meaning is behind this poem. Although, I enjoyed discovering some background information on the poet. We saw what inspired her and it seemed like she was invested in culture, music, art, etc. These details, that I actually was urging for during my first read, helped me gain a new appreciation for writing. Each person has a different story and this poem was unique, just like people’s thoughts are unique. One of the thoughts that I am most proud of is my connection between food subjects and life. There is not one way to “taste” food just like there is no one way to write. Not everyone sees things in the same way and just because this writing doesn't make sense to me, does not mean the writing is “bad” or that it is not important.
tenneh . S
5/28/2021 01:10:08 pm
At first this poem was pointless and confused because it's seem they don't know what they wants.The energy I have about this poem is that it's didn't make any sense to me because they was everywhere. After read -read the poem I still had trouble understanding the poem and what the meaning behind the poem. I learn and discovering some background information on the poet. The author like to invested in culture, music, art, etc. Well when I started to learn how to speak even though i didn't start early of speaking , but music, shows helped me by learning how to speak. Every person has a different story but, this poem was unique, just not how the story was unique but it's the people that is inside.
6/1/2021 10:10:54 am
I thought the poem was quite difficult to understand at first but I believe that was the whole point. My initial reaction felt like I was reading something written in a different language as if I were not meant to understand the piece at all. Gertrude Stein was invested in culture and the arts and she was heavily into this style of poetry. I interpreted it as a list of items and someone's mind wandering as if they were in deep thought. The poem can be interpreted a multitude of ways and I believe that is the general theme Stein wanted to get across. It was a unique take on how people's thought processes can vary so widely.
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