Gertrude Stein and The Automobile


Our country started to see a rise in Conservative policy after World War One.  Many expatriates from the United States gathered in Paris to avoid restrictions made to their ways of life.  The story includes Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, and James Joyce to name a few.  I decided to write a series of couplet stories that all aim to bring the reader into the feeling of that era.

I have written two other poems that are part of this series:

These poems are not in any order.  They are more like random snapshots of thoughts I have on the era. Triggers in my mind from books I am reading.

Goodbye to the Horse and Carriage
When controlled explosions propelled…




When controlled explosion propelled our world

The Otto Cycle based turbine unfurled


Utility and thrill seekers alike

Said goodbye to horse and threw down their bike


With each rotation of a grey crankshaft

Drove forward into industries new craft


From America to Europe the street lost

The soothing sounds of horses hoofed feet.



In Paris along the “Champs Elysees”

Where American artists chose to play


Lived Alice and Gertrude near the baker,

Bread for Gertrude when Alice would take her


Neither one took the time to learn to drive,

When parties would wait for one to arrive


“I write what do I need an Auto for?”

Gertrude would say, but then came time for war.




When war consumes the world with destruction

Each citizen examines their function


The young, the old, and all other arrive,

A chance that their loved ones and homes survive


“Oh, Alice we must play our part, assist

With not only our heart, no longer rest.”


Then they both decided to learn a skill

“We will learn to drive with all of our will.”




So after obtaining a hand cranked Ford,

Each piston firing a bright red chord


To give each soldier comfort and a ride,

A hand crank and Alice as a guide


As war progressed, so Gertrude moved along

To Ambulances and a siren’s song


And soon she found herself on the front lines

A silent foreign world, war, beyond mines


She gazed upon the stricken land to see,

To know what the perfect sentence could be.



And soon she found herself driving them home

Within a new Ford, black and monochrome,


She drove Majors, Captains, Privates, and Priest

As Paris provided a wartime feast


Images of war were in artists minds

As this running automobile reminds


To move from the city to countryside,

To drink hot tea and discuss the next ride,


To leave the gears and clutches of city

A place sullen with sorrow’s industry,



Yet in her old apartment lies her hope,

Her writing and a Picasso to cope,


A new energy only after war,

To crank at the pistons till arms are sore,


A minds need to create, not to forget,

A place where every persons needs are met.


Jamie Lee Hamann
Latest posts by Jamie Lee Hamann (see all)

Jamie Lee Hamann

Things have changed over the years. My name is Jamie Lee Hamann and I have a passion for writing short fiction and poetry. I started writing for TCE around 2015 and since then I have finished two collections of poetry "Six Years of Service" and "The Rhyme of the Ancient Middle Class" both available on Amazon and plans for more. I share a weekly poem for TCE every Saturday. I started work on my first novel and I am using TCE to share my progress as I go. I share new excerpts of this work every weekend. A Science Fiction novel that I hope is enjoyable to read. I currently live in Lemmon Valley NV with my family. I am excited to share my poetry and my writing. If you desire to find my other work on the internet feel free to stop by my website The website offers articles on poetry, poems, and links to all my other writing.

4 thoughts on “Gertrude Stein and The Automobile

  • July 24, 2017 at 5:09 PM

    Interesting story about Gertrude and the automobile, Jamie. It was an era when many did what they could to help each other. Well done.

  • July 24, 2017 at 7:13 PM

    An interesting entry an automobile during the war, I can’t imagine the thrill of it all, the goggles, long coats and a strong arm to give her a crank. The sputter and mutter of thin mufflers as the ladies with huge smiles were so proud of their class. The wonder of it all, watching as she choked down muddy streets, moving at speeds even a grandma could keep pace. Interesting study of Gertrude Stein and The Automobile Jamie. I enjoyed it very much.

  • July 24, 2017 at 8:25 PM

    After reading this, I’m certain the entire genre of steampunk has its roots in the “pilots” of these machines. I love reading works with historical ties to them and this one is pure enjoyment

  • July 24, 2017 at 11:29 PM

    Nicely penned and fascinating. It must have been such a shock to have horses everywhere and suddenly have a machine to replace them. What a landmark change. great work.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

Our cookie settings are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. By continuing to browse this website you are accepting our cookie policy.