from Stanzas in Meditation: Stanza 15

By Gertrude Stein 1874–1946 Gertrude Stein
Should they may be they might if they delight
In why they must see it be there not only necessarily   
But which they might in which they might   
For which they might delight if they look there   
And they see there that they look there
To see it be there which it is if it is
Which may be where where it is
If they do not occasion it to be different
From what it is.
In one direction there is the sun and the moon
In the other direction there are cumulus clouds and the sky   
In the other direction there is why
They look at what they see
They look very long while they talk along
And they may be said to see that at which they look   
Whenever there is no chance of its not being warmer   
Than if they wish which they were.
They see that they have what is there may there   
Be there also what is to be there if they may care   
They care for it of course they care for it.   
Now only think three times roses green and blue   
And vegetables and pumpkins and pansies too
Which they like as they are very likely not to be   
Reminded that it is more than ever necessary
That they should never be surprised at any one time
At just what they have been given by taking what they have   
Which they are very careful not to add with   
As they may easily indulge in the fragrance   
Not only of which but by which they know   
That they tell them so.

Gertrude Stein, Stanza XV 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 Relationships, Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics

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 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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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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