The first aspect of this poem that obviously stood out to me was the speaker’s use of repetition. This is seen right at the beginning of the poem starting with the line “If Napoleon if I told him. Would he like it if I told him”(3-4). Furthermore, the lines are completely grammatically incorrect as the constant repeating lines do not make grammatical sense. I think the reason the poem was written this way is because the speaker is exhibiting her nervous excitement and a somewhat lack of confidence. She is unsure whether or not Picasso, who she clearly looks up to, will like what she will tell him. She seems to be having a conversation with herself, going back and fourth with her thoughts, trying to convince herself to have the confidence to approach him and say what she wants to. As the poem goes on, the repetition becomes more confusing with the repeating “He and He”(53). Similarly I found this repetition to add to her portrayal of being extremely anxious.
The four words that stick out most to me in this poem, are: Napoleon, king, first, and the repetitive “He”(53). These words show how stein viewed Picasso as a leader in his field; a king. Moreover, she views him as bold, comparing him to Napoleon since he is the “first” of his kind. The repeating He displays her nervousness. She sounds like a kid about to meet her favorite celebrity for the first time.
The way I see Stein relating her writing to Cubism is just like cubism, her poetry has an underlying beauty. At first glance, the poem looks like a mess; without any meaning. However with analysis one can see the meaning that underlies the apparent mess; just like cubism.
My questions I am wondering about are:
1) Why do you think she used repetition so much? Is it to give the poem a certain sound? Or is there an underlying meaning to it that I didn’t see?
2) From this poem what kind of relationship do you think Picasso and Stein have? Were they friends or was Picasso just Stein’s idol?