If I Told Him, A Completed Portrait of Picasso

By Gertrude Stein 1874–1946 Gertrude Stein

            If I told him would he like it. Would he like it if I told him.
            Would he like it would Napoleon would Napoleon would would he like it.
            If Napoleon if I told him if I told him if Napoleon. Would he like it if I told him if I told him if Napoleon. Would he like it if Napoleon if Napoleon if I told him. If I told him if Napoleon if Napoleon if I told him. If I told him would he like it would he like it if I told him.
            Now.
            Not now.
            And now.
            Now.
            Exactly as as kings.
            Feeling full for it.
            Exactitude as kings.
            So to beseech you as full as for it.
            Exactly or as kings.
            Shutters shut and open so do queens. Shutters shut and shutters and so shutters shut and shutters and so and so shutters and so shutters shut and so shutters shut and shutters and so. And so shutters shut and so and also. And also and so and so and also.
            Exact resemblance to exact resemblance the exact resemblance as exact resemblance, exactly as resembling, exactly resembling, exactly in resemblance exactly and resemblance. For this is so. Because.
            Now actively repeat at all, now actively repeat at all, now actively repeat at all.
            Have hold and hear, actively repeat at all.
            I judge judge.
            As a resemblance to him.
            Who comes first. Napoleon the first.
            Who comes too coming coming too, who goes there, as they go they share, who shares all, all is as all as as yet or as yet.
            Now to date now to date. Now and now and date and the date.
            Who came first Napoleon at first. Who came first Napoleon the first. Who came first, Napoleon first.
            Presently.
            Exactly do they do.
            First exactly.
            Exactly do they do.
            First exactly.
            And first exactly.
            Exactly do they do.
            And first exactly and exactly.
            And do they do.
            At first exactly and first exactly and do they do.
            The first exactly.
            And do they do.
            The first exactly.
            At first exactly.
            First as exactly.
            As first as exactly.
            Presently
            As presently.
            As as presently.
            He he he he and he and he and and he and he and he and and as and as he and as he and he. He is and as he is, and as he is and he is, he is and as he and he and as he is and he and he and and he and he.
            Can curls rob can curls quote, quotable.
            As presently.
            As exactitude.
            As trains.
            Has trains.
            Has trains.
            As trains.
            As trains.
            Presently.
            Proportions.
            Presently.
            As proportions as presently.
            Farther and whether.
            Was there was there was there what was there was there what was there was there there was there.
            Whether and in there.
            As even say so.
            One.
            I land.
            Two.
            I land.
            Three.
            The land.
            Three
            The land.
            Three.
            The land.
            Two
            I land.
            Two
            I land.
            One
            I land.
            Two
            I land.
            As a so.
            The cannot.
            A note.
            They cannot
            A float.
            They cannot.
            They dote.
            They cannot.
            They as denote.
            Miracles play.
            Play fairly.
            Play fairly well.
            A well.
            As well.
            As or as presently.
            Let me recite what history teaches. History teaches.

Gertrude Stein, “If I Told Him, A Complete Portrait of Picasso” from Selections: Gertrude Stein. Copyright © 2008 by University of California Press. Reprinted by permission of the Estate of Gertrude Stein.

Source: Selections: Gertrude Stein (University of California Press, 2008)

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Poet Gertrude Stein 1874–1946

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics, Painting & Sculpture

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Gertrude  Stein

Biography

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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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics, Painting & Sculpture

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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