Poets Weave

Prose Poems Of Gertrude Stein

This week, poetry from the book Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein.

GertrudeStein-edit

Photo: Pinckney2007 (wikipedia)

Portrait of Gertrude Stein by Pablo Picasso (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City).

Born in 1874, Gertrude Stein remains one of the key figures in American avant-garde writing due to her many books of poetry, fiction, plays, essays, libretti—even an autobiography written on behalf of her longtime partner Alice B. Toklas—as well as through her friendships with painters and writers as Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, and William Carlos Williams.

The experimental prose poems of Tender Buttons, which focus on common household objects such as umbrellas, potatoes, and coffee, are anything but commonplace. With startling combinations of words, used more for their sound and associations than for their meaning, Stein created a poetry as thought-provoking and strange today as when first published almost a century ago.

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