and how often do we need mountains

“I caught sight of a splendid Misses. She had handkerchiefs and kisses. She had eyes and yellow shoes she had everything to choose and she chose me. In passing through France she wore a Chinese hat and so did I. In looking at the sun she read a map and so did I. . . . In loving the blue sea she had a pain. And so did I. In loving me she of necessity thought first. And so did I. How prettily we swim. Not in water. Not on land. But in love. How often do we need trees and hills. Not often. And how often do we need mountains. Not very often.”

(Gertrude Stein, from “A Sonatina Followed by Another”, quoted in the preface to Davenport’s Sappho.)

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