“A Red Stamp”
I was particularly attracted to Stein’s poem “A Red Stamp.” As a reader, and this tends to go for all Stein’s poems for me, I find them to be something that is kind of absorbed in a way. I like to let them just kind of flow at me, and I just try to allow whatever senses or images I have in response just flow over me. This doesn’t really take any kind of background knowledge, because I think its more important for the reader to create their own sort of sensory interpretation rather than look for some kind of concrete meaning. For me, “A Red Stamp” reminds me of the tension between contrasts, in this case red and lily white, and dirt and purity. It seems like its a kind of mediation on things getting “dirty” and images of pure things being soiled. I am particularly fond of the first line of them poem, as it combines the idea of the purity (lily white) and pollution (dust and dirt) and makes a kind of comparison of the two, without Stein ever asserting any kind judgement, allowing the reader to experience whatever comes up for them.