Sacred Emily


Dublin Core


Sacred Emily


Art, Modernism, Bohemia


A Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose: Stein’s Poetry Mirrors Dodge’s Persona as a Muse, Modernist, and Feminist

To view Dodge through Stein’s application of literary devices displays Dodge’s expansive impact on modernism. Stein's poem "Sacred Emily" also further illuminates Dodge’s own ideology and how that was employed to shape the progressive conversations of Greenwich Village. Dodge and Stein’s intersecting ideologies on modernism are reflected in Stein’s poetry. These women’s voices that spurred on the spirit of a new wave of art and literature across the globe are apparent in Stein’s poetry—specifically the poem she wrote around the time of Dodge’s departure to America, “Sacred Emily,” which displays the complicated role both women faced as participants in the development of modernism as well as their role as women (Stein 387-96).

Stein calls attention to marriage reform and the role of women in her poem. Dodge struggles and writes on similar issues of the idea of “New Marriage” and the “New Woman,” and she is often seen as a figure head of both of the movements. Stein speaks about feminist issues at a distance, though, which fits perfectly into Dodge’s open ideology on not guiding a conversation or a discourse. Stein writes, “Wives of great men rest tranquil,” in order to call attention to the subordinate role of women in a distant enough way so as to lend the portrayal of gender relations to have multiple interpretations. Stein also employs the repeated use of the name “Emily,” selected for its common usage, in order to give a call to all women to embrace the ideology of modernism—something Dodge promoted heavily. Stein also writes, “A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose,” for the first time in this work. She would use this phrase in subsequent prose, plays, and poetry to come, like As Fine as Melanctha and even her lectures in America, but its emergence early on alludes to her understanding of the repressed state of womanhood. Dodge adheres to this same belief in the subordinate place of women in society.

Dodge would write in her speech at the introduction of the Armory Show in 1913 that “Gertrude Stein is doing with words what Picasso is doing with paint,” which conveys the importance of the literary form as well the actual interpretation of the text (Hegeman). The presence of modernist ideology is the direct link between Stein’s work and Dodge. Stein plays with the sonic qualities of words and often uses alliteration and internal rhyme to reflect the modernist idea of spontaneity. For instance, Stein describes “Parts of place” to create a tone of meditative distance as well as whimsical exploration of the self. Dodge’s own meditative qualities are reflected in Stein’s poetry, and her presence in Stein’s poetry conveys Dodge’s influence on modernism. Hustak explains, “Mabel’s search for her concentrated essence was animated by the problem of how a female self might think, feel and experience the body in ways beyond the constraints of Victorian white middle-class ideals of feminity. Mabel’s efforts to transform this normative female self-took the forum of feminist spirituality” (192). Hustak’s commentary displays how Dodge’s self-exploration was emulated in Stein’s piece.

Stein’s writing is extremely radical for 20th century America, where poets were generally still creating poetry within a form. Even fellow Bohemians like Edna Saint Vincent Millay tend to work in sonnets. Stein is challenging the constraint of poetic forms just like Dodge challenges the constraints of discourse, and both create spaces for artists to freely experiment and develop new art forms. In her lines of continued repetition like, “Next to barber bury./Next to barber bury china,” and “Push sea push sea push sea push sea push sea push sea push sea push sea,” Stein experiments with new directions for poetry in a clear rejection of previous structure. In rejecting previous forms, Stein’s work reflects Dodge’s beliefs on pushing forward to create new art. The use of repetition especially with mention to the “sea” creates the sonic illusion of ocean waves coming in and out. Stein uses this image to symbolize the idea of writing and reacting in the present—another quality Dodge promotes in the organization of her Evenings.

Though “Sacred Emily” was not written about or for Dodge, the presence of her ideology in the work of her peer demonstrates her place at the forefront of the development of a whole artistic movement. Where Stein interprets these concepts into her artistic work, Dodge embodies the ideology of modernism in order to further the movement and the artists, like Stein, who were part of it.

Hegeman, Susan. "Gertrude Stein and the Armory Show." The Armory Show at 100.
Ed. New York Historical Society. New York Historical Society, 8 Oct. 2013.
Web. 8 June 2016.
Hustak, Carla Christina. "Inventing the female self in Greenwich Village,
1900–1930: Mabel Dodge's encounter with science and spirituality."
Critical Psychology 6.2 (2013): 173-92. Print.
Stein, Gertrude."Sacred Emily." Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein. Comp. Catherine R.
Stimpson and Harriet Chessman. By Stein. New York: Vintage Books, 1990.
387-96. Print.


Gertrude Stein


Electronic Poetry Center Buffalo New York


Vintage Books




Written poetry





Text Item Type Metadata


Compose compose beds.
Wives of great men rest tranquil.
Come go stay philip philip.
Egg be takers.
Parts of place nuts.
Suppose twenty for cent.
It is rose in hen.
Come one day.
A firm terrible a firm terrible hindering, a firm hindering have a ray nor pin nor.
Egg in places.
Egg in few insists.
In set a place.
I am not missing.
Who is a permit.
I love honor and obey I do love honor and obey I do.
Melancholy do lip sing.
How old is he.
Murmur pet murmur pet murmur.
Push sea push sea push sea push sea push sea push sea push sea push sea.
Sweet and good and kind to all.
Wearing head.
Cousin tip nicely.
Cousin tip.
Wearing head.
Leave us sit.
I do believe it will finish, I do believe it will finish.
Pat ten patent, Pat ten patent.
Eleven and eighteen.
Foolish is foolish is.
Birds measure birds measure stores birds measure stores measure birds measure.
Exceptional firm bites.
How do you do I forgive you everything and there is nothing to forgive.
Never the less.
Leave it to me.
Weeds without papers.
Weeds without papers are necessary.
Left again left again.
Exceptional considerations.
Never the less tenderness.
Resting cow curtain.
Resting bull pin.
Resting cow curtain.
Resting bull pin.
Next to a frame.
The only hat hair.
Leave us mass leave us. Leave us pass. Leave us. Leave us pass leave us.
Humming is.
No climate.
What is a size.
Ease all I can do.
Colored frame.
Couple of canning.
Ease all I can do.
Humming does as
Humming does as humming is.
What is a size.
No climate.
Ease all I can do.
Shall give it, please to give it.
Like to give it, please to give it.
What a surprise.
Not sooner whether.
Cordially yours.
Cordially yours.
Not sooner together.
Cordially yours.
In strewing, in strewing.
That is the way we are one and indivisible.
Pay nuts renounce.
Now without turning around.
I will give them to you tonight.
Cunning is and does cunning is and does the most beautiful notes.
I would like a thousand most most.
Center pricking petunia.
Electrics are tight electrics are white electrics are a button.
Singular pressing.
Recent thimble.
Noisy pearls noisy pearl coat.
Arrange wide opposite.
Opposite it.
Lily ice-cream.
A hand is Willie.
Henry Henry Henry.
A hand is Henry.
Henry Henry Henry.
A hand is Willie.
Henry Henry Henry.
All the time.
A wading chest.
Do you mind.
Lizzie do you mind.
Next to barber.
Next to barber bury.
Next to barber bury china.
Next to barber bury china glass.
Next to barber china and glass.
Next to barber and china.
Next to barber and hurry.
Next to hurry.
Next to hurry and glass and china.
Next to hurry and glass and hurry.
Next to hurry and hurry.
Next to hurry and hurry.
Plain cases for see.
Tickle tickle tickle you for education.
A very reasonable berry.
Suppose a selection were reverse.
Cousin to sadden.
A coral neck and a little song so very extra so very Susie.
Cow come out cow come out and out and smell a little.
Draw prettily.
Next to a bloom.
Neat stretch.
Place plenty.
Curtain cousin.
Neither best set.
Do I make faces like that at you.
Not writing not writing another.
Another one.
Jack Rose Jack Rose.
Practically all of them.
Does believe it.
Measure a measure a measure or.
Which is pretty which is pretty which is pretty.
To be top.
Neglect Waldberg.
Sudden say separate.
So great so great Emily.
Sew grate sew grate Emily.
Not a spell nicely.
Weigh pieces of pound.
Aged steps.
Not a plan bow.
Why is lacings.
Little slam up.
Cold seam peaches.
Begging to state begging to state begging to state alright.
Begging to state begging to state begging to state alright.
Wheels stows wheels stows.
Cotton could mere less.
From the standpoint of all white a week is none too much.
Pink coral white coral, coral coral.
Happy happy happy.
All the, chose.
Is a necessity.
Happy happy happy all the.
Happy happy happy all the.
Remain seated.
Come on come on come on on.
All the close.
Remain seated.
All the.
Remain seated.
All the, close.
Websters and mines, websters and mines.
Websters and mines.
Gold space gold space of toes.
Twos, twos.
Pinned to the letter.
In accompany.
In a company in.
Natural lace.
Spend up.
Spend up length.
Spend up length.
Length thoroughly.
Neatness Neatness.
Excellent cording.
Excellent cording short close.
Close to.
Pin black.
Cough or up.
Neater pin.
Pinned to the letter.
Was it a space was it a space was it a space to see.
Neither things.
Say say say.
North of the calender.
Peoples rest.
Preserve pulls.
Cunning piler.
Next to a chance.
Apples went.
It was a chance to preach Saturday.
Please come to Susan.
Purpose purpose black.
Extra plain silver.
Furious slippers.
Have a reason.
Have a reason candy.
Points of places.
Neat Nezars.
Which is a cream, can cream.
Ink of paper slightly mine breathes a shoulder able shine.
Near glass.
Put a stove put a stove hoarser.
If I was surely if I was surely.
See girl says.
All the same bright.
When a churn say suddenly when a churn say suddenly.
Poor pour percent.
Little branches.
Near sights.
Please sorts.
Put something down.
Put something down some day.
Put something down some day in.
Put something down some day in my.
In my hand.
In my hand right.
In my hand writing.
Put something down some day in my hand writing.
Needles less.
Never the less.

Never the less extra stress.
Never the less.
Old sight.
Real line.
Upper states.
Mere colors.
Recent resign.
Search needles.
All a plain all a plain show.
White papers.
Slippers underneath.
Little tell.
I chance.
I chance to.
I chance to to.
I chance to.
What is a winter wedding a winter wedding.
Furnish seats.
Furnish seats nicely.
Please repeat.
Please repeat for.
Please repeat.
This is a name to Anna.
Cushions and pears.
Reason purses.
Reason purses to relay to relay carpets.
Marble is thorough fare.
Nuts are spittoons.
That is a word.
That is a word careless.
Paper peaches.
Paper peaches are tears.
Rest in grapes.
Thoroughly needed.
Thoroughly needed signs.
All but.
Relieving relieving.
That is plenty.
Cunning saxon symbol.
Symbol of beauty.
Thimble of everything.
Cunning clover thimble.
Cunning of everything.
Cunning of thimble.
Cunning cunning.
Place in pets.
Night town.
Night town a glass.
Color mahogany.
Color mahogany center.
Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.
Loveliness extreme.
Extra gaiters.
Loveliness extreme.
Sweetest ice-cream.
Page ages page ages page ages.
Wiped Wiped wire wire.
Sweeter than peaches and pears and cream.
Wiped wire wiped wire.
Extra extreme.
Put measure treasure.
Measure treasure.
Tables track.
That will do.
Cup or cup or.
Excessively illigitimate.
Pussy pussy pussy what what.
Current secret sneezers.
Mercy for a dog.
Medal make medal.
Able able able.
A go to green and a letter spoke a go to green or praise or
Worships worships worships.
Do or.
Table linen.
Wet spoil.
Wet spoil gaiters and knees and little spools little spools or ready silk lining.
Suppose misses misses.
Curls to butter.
Settle stretches.
See at till.
Sail or.
Sail or rustle.
Mourn in morning.
The way to say.
Deal own a.
A high b and a perfect sight.
Little things singer.
Not in description.
Day way.
A blow is delighted.

Stein, Gertrude."Sacred Emily." Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein. Comp. Catherine R.
Stimpson and Harriet Chessman. By Stein. New York: Vintage Books, 1990.
387-96. Print.

Original Format

Written Poetry