Float - How to Like "If I Told Him: A Completed Portrait of Picasso" by Gertrude Stein Summary & Analysis

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Summary

"How to Like 'If I Told Him: A Completed Portrait of Picasso' by Gertrude Stein" is a chapbook in Float that riffs on the poem, "If I Told Him: A Completed Portrait of Picasso," by Gertrude Stein. Written in 1923, Stein's poem was part of a multi-decade intertextual dialogue between herself and Pablo Picasso, and is written in long-form, free verse. In many ways, Stein places herself as interlocutor between Picasso and the other subject of this poem: Napoleon.

The chapbook begins with Carson considering what the difference is "between a 'portrait' and a 'completed portrait' of Picasso," with the answer being "Napoleon." Stein used herself as a figure through which to complete the dialogue between both men — and following this realization, Carson includes a quotation from Stein's poem which reads...

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This section contains 1,105 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Float  Study Guide
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