TYPESCRIPT OF HER POEM 'PROCESSION', some 94 lines, with four autograph revisions (including a line of text) and corrections, and the triple underlining of the title, one correction and her name in capital letters at the end (spelled 'GERTUDE STEIN' with the missing R inserted in pencil) probably in another hand, perhaps an editor's, 5 pages, quarto, a little discoloured, two or three light brown marks, paper clip rust mark at head of first leaf, not dated [but ?1935]
Proceed to a procession
The procession is prepared to proceed.
In a procession.
And they were put opposite to us
RARE. No poetical manuscripts or typescripts by Gertrude Stein have appeared at auction in the last forty years at least.
The present revised typescript was that used for the first publication of the work. Although dated in 1923 by Richard Bridgman 'Procession' was not published until it appeared in The Programme for 19 June 1935. The poem's first appearance in a book was in Reflection on the Atom Bomb. It was reprinted separately in an edition of 50 copies with graphics by Shirley Sharoff in 1995.
To some Gertrude Stein was the leader of the avant garde in American writing. At one point she attempted to develop a 'cubist' literature, independent of meaningful associations and relying on sound orchestration. Carl Van Vechten reported that 'she sets down the words as they come from her pen; they bubble, they flow; they surge through her brain and she sets them down. You may regard them as nonsense, but the fact remains that effective imitations of her style do not exist...Miss Stein asserted that her art was for the printed page only; she never expects people to converse or exchange ideas in her style.'
PROVENANCE: George Sayer, editor of The Programme.
REFERENCES: Gertrude Stein in Pieces, 1970 ('Key to the Yale Catalogue' number 278); Reflection on the Atom Bomb, edited by R.B. Haas, 1973.