from Stanzas in Meditation: Stanza  5

By Gertrude Stein 1874–1946 Gertrude Stein
Why can pansies be their aid or paths.   
He said paths she had said paths
All like to do their best with half of the time   
A sweeter sweetener came and came in time   
Tell him what happened then only to go
He nervous as you add only not only as they angry were   
Be kind to half the time that they shall say
It is undoubtedly of them for them for every one any one   
They thought quietly that Sunday any day she might not come
In half a way of coining that they wish it
Let it be only known as please which they can underrate   
They try once to destroy once to destroy as often
Better have it changed to pigeons now if the room smokes   
Not only if it does but happens to happens to have the room smoke all the time.
In their way not in their way it can be all arranged
Not now we are waiting.
I have read that they wish if land is there   
Land is there if they wish land is there   
Yes hardly if they wish land is there
It is no thought of enterprise there trying   
Might they claim as well as reclaim.   
Did she mean that she had nothing.   
We say he and I that we do not cry
Because we have just seen him and called him back
He meant to go away
Once now I will tell all which they tell lightly.
How were we when we met.
All of which nobody not we know   
But it is so. They cannot be allied
They can be close and chosen.   
Once in a while they wait.
He likes it that there is no chance to misunderstand pansies.

Gertrude Stein, Stanza V from Stanzas in Meditation and Other Poems (Los Angeles: Sun and Moon Press, 1994). Reprinted with the permission of Mr. Stanford Gann Jr., Levin & Gann, P.A., Literary Executor of the Estate of Gertrude Stein.

Source: The Yale Gertrude Stein (Yale University Press, 1980)

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Poet Gertrude Stein 1874–1946


Subjects Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Gertrude  Stein


From the time she moved to France in 1903 until her death in Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1946, American writer Gertrude Stein was a central figure in the Parisian art world. An advocate of the avant garde, Stein helped shape an artistic movement that demanded a novel form of expression and a conscious break with the past. The salon at 27 rue de Fleurus that she shared with Alice B. Toklas, her lifelong companion and secretary, became a . . .

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SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics


Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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