Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Emperor of Ice-Cream

Wallace Stevens (1879 - 1955)

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are 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.

Take from the dresser of deal,
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
On which she embroidered fantails once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice cream.




[... for we sorrow not, as others which have no hope...]


  1. New to me...

    how do you even know about this poem?

  2. It's in my college literature book -- I've liked it ever since I first read it. I read recently that Wallace Stevens was an athiest, so I suppose he might not have meant by it what I'm getting out of it.


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