Poem Fix of the Day, June 30, 2011

Along with 13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, The Emperor of Ice Cream is the most famous poem by Wallace Stevens.  To be honest, I’ve never really understood this poem though I’ve read it many times.  I’ve even read Harold Bloom’s essay on the poem and still don’t quite grasp it.  If you think you get it (the entire poem can easily be found online), write a brief explanation in the comment box.  I, for one, like it for the sound of the phrases.

Let the wenches dawdle in such dress

As they used to wear, and let the boys

Bring flowers in last month’s newspapers.

Let be be finale of seem.

The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

–Wallace Stevens, from The Emperor of Ice-Cream.


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