Here are some short poems:
A BLUE COAT
A blue coat is guided guided away, guided and guided away, that is the particular color that is used for that length and not any width not even more than a shadow.
I had angst
THE GREEN SEA
Above his head clanged
And there were no dreams in this sleep
Over this table
OUT OF MINE
rather than melt the ice passes through my hand
i pass through another way
dead surrounded by white
light flowers out
A color in shaving, a saloon is well placed in the centre of an alley.
A NEW CUP AND SAUCER
Enthusiastically hurting a clouded yellow bud and saucer, enthusiastically so is the bite in the ribbon.
Recognise them? The second and third poems were written by Ted Berrigan in the 1970s, the fourth was written by Tom Raworth in the 1960s, and the others were written by Getrude Stein, a woman born 134 years ago, and who published these poems in 1914. The poems in 'Tender Buttons' wouldn't be out of place in a poetry collection written now, and they seem to prefigure a lot of contemporary work, including LANGUAGE poetry and much of what we'd currently call post-modernism. All of the poems above, by their very abstraction, are questioning the relationship between language and the world - a contemporary preoccupaton, but not in 1914 (I'm ready to be contradicted here). It strikes me that Ezra Pound now reads like a great poet from another era, while Gertrude Stein reads like a great contemporary.