Idem the Same: A Valentine to Sherwood Anderson

By Gertrude Stein 1874–1946 Gertrude Stein

        I knew too that through them I knew too that he was through, I knew too that he threw them. I knew too that they were through, I knew too I knew too, I knew I knew them.

        I knew to them.

        If they tear a hunter through, if they tear through a hunter, if they tear through a hunt and a hunter, if they tear through different sizes of the six, the different sizes of the six which are these, a woman with a white package under one arm and a black package under the other arm and dressed in brown with a white blouse, the second Saint Joseph the third a hunter in a blue coat and black garters and a plaid cap, a fourth a knife grinder who is full faced and a very little woman with black hair and a yellow hat and an excellently smiling appropriate soldier. All these as you please.

        In the meantime examples of the same lily. In this way please have you rung.
 

WHAT DO I SEE?

        A very little snail.

        A medium sized turkey.

        A small band of sheep.

        A fair orange tree.

        All nice wives are like that.

        Listen to them from here.

        Oh.

        You did not have an answer.

        Here.

        Yes.
 

A VERY VALENTINE.

        Very fine is my valentine.

        Very fine and very mine.

        Very mine is my valentine very mine and very fine.

        Very fine is my valentine and mine, very fine very mine and mine is my valentine.
 

WHY DO YOU FEEL DIFFERENTLY.

        Why do you feel differently about a very little snail and a big one.

        Why do you feel differently about a medium sized turkey and a very large one.

        Why do you feel differently about a small band of sheep and several sheep that are riding.

        Why do you feel differently about a fair orange tree and one that has blossoms as well.

        Oh very well.

        All nice wives are like that.
 
 
 

        To Be

        No Please.

        To Be

        They can please

        Not to be

        Do they please.

        Not to be

        Do they not please

        Yes please.

        Do they please

        No please.

        Do they not please

        No please.

        Do they please.

        Please.

        If you please.

        And if you please.

        And if they please

        And they please.

        To be pleased

        Not to be pleased.

        Not to be displeased.

        To be pleased and to please.
 

KNEELING

        One two three four five six seven eight nine and ten.

        The tenth is a little one kneeling and giving away a rooster with this feeling.

        I have mentioned one, four five seven eight and nine.

        Two is also giving away an animal.

        Three is changed as to disposition.

        Six is in question if we mean mother and daughter, black and black caught her, and she offers to be three she offers it to me.

        That is very right and should come out below and just so.
 

BUNDLES FOR THEM.

A HISTORY OF GIVING BUNDLES.

        We are able to notice that each one in a way carried a bundle, they were not a trouble to them nor were they all bundles as some of them were chickens some of them pheasants some of them sheep and some of them bundles, they were not a trouble to them and then indeed we learned that it was the principal recreation and they were so arranged that they were not given away, and to-day they were given away.

        I will not look at them again.

        They will not look for them again.

        They have not seen them here again.

        They are in there and we hear them again.

        In which way are stars brighter than they are. When we have come to this decision. We mention many thousands of buds. And when I close my eyes I see them.
 

        If you hear her snore

        It is not before you love her

        You love her so that to be her beau is very lovely

        She is sweetly there and her curly hair is very lovely

        She is sweetly here and I am very near and that is very lovely.

        She is my tender sweet and her little feet are stretched out well which is a treat and very lovely

        Her little tender nose is between her little eyes which close and are very lovely.

        She is very lovely and mine which is very lovely.
 

ON HER WAY.

        If you can see why she feel that she kneels if you can see why he knows that he shows what he bestows, if you can see why they share what they share, need we question that there is no doubt that by this time if they had intended to come they would have sent some notice of such intention. She and they and indeed the decision itself is not early dissatisfaction.
 

IN THIS WAY.

        Keys please, it is useless to alarm any one it is useless to alarm some one it is useless to be alarming and to get fertility in gardens in salads in heliotrope and in dishes. Dishes and wishes are mentioned and dishes and wishes are not capable of darkness. We like sheep. And so does he.
 

                                                                  LET US DESCRIBE.
         Let us describe how they went. It was a very windy night and the road although in excellent condition and extremely well graded has many turnings and although the curves are not sharp the rise is considerable. It was a very windy night and some of the larger vehicles found it more prudent not to venture. In consequence some of those who had planned to go were unable to do so. Many others did go and there was a sacrifice, of what shall we, a sheep, a hen, a cock, a village, a ruin, and all that and then that having been blessed let us bless it.

Gertrude Stein, “Idem the Same: A Valentine to Sherwood Anderson” from A Stein Reader. Copyright © 1993 by Gertrude Stein. Reprinted by permission of David Higham: Estate of Gertrude Stein .

Source: A Stein Reader (Northwestern University Press, 1993)

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Poet Gertrude Stein 1874–1946

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Subjects Love, Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics, Reading & Books

Poetic Terms Prose Poem