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Lifting Belly

An Erotic Poem

List Price: $10.00

ON SALE: February 4, 2020 |  | 4.0 x 6.0, 112 pages | ISBN 9781640093430
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Fragmentary, unabashed, erotic—“Lifting Belly” is a singular lesbian love poem from modernist Gertrude Stein (1874–1946) which lays bare desire and easy intimacy.

What is it when it’s upset. It isn’t in the room. Moonlight and darkness. Sleep and not sleep. We sleep every night.

What was it.
I said lifting belly.
You didn’t say it.
I said I mean lifting belly.
Don’t misunderstand me.
Do you.
Do you lift everybody in that way.
No.
You are to say No.
Lifting belly.
How are you.
Lifting belly how are you lifting belly.
We like a fire and we don’t mind if it smokes.
Do you.

—From “Lifting Belly”

Each palm-size book in the Counterpoints series is meant to stay with you, whether safely in your pocket or long after you turn the last page. From short stories to essays to poems, these little books celebrate our most-beloved writers, whose work encapsulates the spirit of Counterpoint Press: cutting-edge, wide-ranging, and independent.

About Gertrude Stein

GERTRUDE STEIN (1874–1946) was an American Jewish writer, poet, and art collector who spent most of her life in France. Her body of work include Three LivesTender ButtonsThe Making of Americans, and The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. Not only was she an innovator in literature and a supporter of modern poetry and art, she was the friend and mentor of those who visited her at her now-famous home: Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Jean Cocteau, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sherwood Anderson, and Guillaume Apollinaire.

Praise

Praise for Lifting Belly 

“Often considered the central erotic work of Stein’s middle period, this love poem written to her longtime companion, Alice B. Toklas, reveals a vulnerability and tenderness unexpected of one so famous for caustic wit. Associative in structure, the work consists of alternately cryptic and conversational fragments detailing a shared domestic life. A very brief initial section observes the hardships of gay estrangement from society, while the body of the work applauds the decision to endure these for love’s sake. Readers will welcome an unusual view of Stein in this . . . work in which “lifting belly”––signifying sexual union––comes to imply passionate commitment to another and acceptance of oneself.” —Publishers Weekly

 

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