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On "Susie Asado"
When you read this poem you have to take a formalist approach to this poem to understand it. The first 2 lines are high pitch sounds "sweet" This is repeated throughout to indicate a sign of urgency. Then the last word is "tea". What is tea? Tea is tradition. Then skip the middle portion of the poem and read where she starts talking about pots. A "pot" is symbolic for females. Then she talks about old vats. Old vats are old customs or traditions. In the same line she talks about trees that shade her. The trees represent men and how they protect her. Then the line says that when shoved from under the shade she is vulnerable (no protection). Back in the old days women were not allowed to have jobs so they would depend on the men to survive and when pushed from under the shade her social norms were shaken or bobbled. Incubus is a male sexual demon who rapes women in the middle of the night. Move to the last lines of the poem where it talks about nails. A nail can be a sexual reference to a penis. Then it says a nail is unison, well a nail can't be unison unless it is hammered into something, referring to sexual intercourse. Once again the last line of the poem is high frequency "sweet" also signifying urgency. So you may be wondering whats so urgent? Look in the middle of the line where she says when the ancient light is clean it is yellow. This signifys that women are intelligent and can think on there own. Ancient referring to old traditions and light referring to intelligence. Then it says it is a silver seller, propagating that women can work and make money like men."This is a please"is referring to her cry out to her husband to please let loose of my chain. The line where it says drink pups drinks means that she wants other women to drink/grasp this message and so they can be free from their husbands chains. "A lean on the shoe means slips slips hers" What can you think of when you slip? It can mean something underneath. The message underneath this poem is that women have rights and can be independent from men. If they step away from the old traditions of men being dominant over women they can accomplish things on there own. I hope that this anlysis was helpful! In this poem, Stein was stressing sound more than visual imagery and for that matter even words' definitions. Susie Asado was a Spanish dancer, and the prominence of the "s" sound throughout the whole poem alludes to the dance slippers against the floor. The placement of the "s" sounds also develops a rhythm, not necessarily metered, but also creates the rhythmic aspect of dance. Stein would frequently be asked by traditionalists what her poems meant. She laughed at them. There's simply no meaning behind these works. This by no stretch of the imagination discredits her poems, rather, it legitamizes them. Her focus on the musical side of poetry helped spark poetry's movement into modernism in the early 1900's.
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