Sugar by Gertrude Stein


A poem by Gertrude Stein


A violent luck and a whole sample and even then quiet.

Water is squeezing, water is almost squeezing on lard. Water, water is a mountain and it is selected and it is so practical that there is no use in money. A mind under is exact and so it is necessary to have a mouth and eye glasses.

A question of sudden rises and more time than awfulness is so easy and shady. There is precisely that noise.

A peck a small piece not privately overseen, not at all not a slice, not at all crestfallen and open, not at all mounting and chaining and evenly surpassing, all the bidding comes to tea.

A separation is not tightly in worsted and sauce, it is so kept well and sectionally.

Put it in the stew, put it to shame. A little slight shadow and a solid fine furnace.

The teasing is tender and trying and thoughtful.

The line which sets sprinkling to be a remedy is beside the best cold.

A puzzle, a monster puzzle, a heavy choking, a neglected Tuesday.

Wet crossing and a likeness, any likeness, a likeness has blisters, it has that and teeth, it has the staggering blindly and a little green, any little green is ordinary.

One, two and one, two, nine, second and five and that.

A blaze, a search in between, a cow, only any wet place, only this tune.

Cut a gas jet uglier and then pierce pierce in between the next and negligence. Choose the rate to pay and pet pet very much. A collection of all around, a signal poison, a lack of languor and more hurts at ease.

A white bird, a colored mine, a mixed orange, a dog.

Cuddling comes in continuing a change.

A piece of separate outstanding rushing is so blind with open delicacy.

A canoe is orderly. A period is solemn. A cow is accepted.

A nice old chain is widening, it is absent, it is laid by.

— Originally published in Tender Buttons (1914).

Gertrude Stein, Nov. 4, 1934, Carl Van Vechten. From the Van Vechten Collection at the Library of Congress, Washington DC. LC-USZ62-102266 (b&w film copy neg.)

Gertrude Stein was an American modernist novelist, poet, playwright, who was born in 1874 in Pittsburgh and raised in Oakland, California. After moving to Paris in 1903, Stein hosted a salon, where leading figures of literary and artistic modernism would meet. Her circle included such luminaries as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, Ezra Pound, Sherwood Anderson, Pablo Picasso, and Henri Matisse. Stein lived in France until her death in 1946.

You can read more about literary modernism in Modernism and Experimentation 1914–1945 from the Outline of American Literature by Kathryn VanSpanckeren and at Modernism, Faith, and Intellectuals.

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