Letters to Gertrude Stein On Her Book "How to Write"

"My writing is clear as mud, but mud settles and clear streams run on and disappear..." Gertrude Stein "How to Write"

A Tradition

April is full of many traditions. Five years ago when I began to write poems for poetry month here on Hubpages I stuck with the theme of domestic tasks. I still include many poems on different domestic tasks. There will always be an Easter Poem every year and there will always be Elais's Birthday Haiku's since his birthday is in mid April.

Another tradition I have continued during poetry month is the inclusion of a Letter to an artist. Last year I wrote "Letters Between Muriel Ruykeiser and Einstein" and this year I am writing a letter to Gertrude Stein on her book "How to Write."

Letter to Gertrude Stein On Her "How to Write"

When I doubt my writing style I read you

my sweet, my sweet Gertrude, to digest lines,

my simple word choices are classic too,

to never find a mold to fit my rhymes

or beauty of rhythm to shine on through.

Oh Gertrude, you understood each word, the signs,

you felt the need to write on "How to Write"

to softly bring back my creative sight.


You helped me save my sentences from shame

you showed me what a paragraph can do

and while you were in Paris with your fame

your friendship with the modern poets grew

and with a whip your composition tame

a whip I felt when I reduced my rue

you taught me with this book, creation,

a process that can fill me with elation.


To carry books like this when travelling

in worlds of words from pens your friends hold tight

to know the rules then break them freeing

a Picasso over for wine, insight

into creation, these new songs to sing.

Thank you, creation is truly a flight

you showed me how to make a lasting fling

to love and write for love and writings sake

the joy that grammar and mind make.


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2 comments

Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 7 months ago from Riga, Latvia

Enjoyed this very much. Love the poetry and thanks for sharing the video.


jhamann profile image

jhamann 7 months ago from Reno NV Author

I enjoyed writing this one Gypsy. I am glad to hear you enjoyed this hub. I have jumped into a big Gertrude Stein kick. Jamie

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