Following up on Kirsten's great poem and this discussion, here is an excerpt from a paper I am currently graded (author anonymous unless self-identified). This person does a great job of showing how Stein's repetitions make us go back and continually rethink our understanding of words: "However, when a word is said more than once in a row, we suddenly start thinking about that word and its connotations. In Stein's poem "If I Told Him (A Completed Portrait of Pablo Picasso)," she breaks the "portrait" down into smaller, more detailed elements. When she stresses a word multiple times, the reader/listener (consciously or otherwise) puts more emphasis on the word than he/she might have otherwise. Instead of realizing that aspect of the poem and moving on, we pause and think about what the word could mean. For example, the first time she mentions Napoleon, it's natural for the reader to automatically think she's making a historical reference and then move on to the rest of the poem. However, Stein goes on to continuously mention Napoleon and wonder "Would he like it?" The reader then thinks more about Napoleon. Is she comparing him to Picasso? How? Is she comparing his importance politically? Socially? Is she comparing the "revolution" (figurative or actual) each brought about? Maybe all of these. After all, as the Norton anthology quotes in its headnote on the author, Stein said "I never repeat" (Ellmann 237). Maybe, with each mention of the name, Stein is introducing another of these elements." This is a good description of how repetition can disrupt in the context of poetry, where we assume that each word demands active attention and deliberation over meaning. Stein, by repeating, forces us to reconsider the meaning of her words, question whether we've "understood." After so much questioning, after we've come up with a possible meaning and Stein brings up the word again and again in new contexts, we begin to "unthink," to undo the meanings we've tried to make fit. A limitness number of possibilities is no possibility.