The title alone is worthy of a classic fairytale, conjuring up images of a great royal figure sitting on a mighty throne, slurping up a huge delicious looking ice-cream. The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream. Full of obscure,overcooked bric-a-brac and gobbledygook some claim.
Perhaps Stevens witnessed this incident in his youth.
These informalities are acquiesced to. Exotic, timeless, truly philosophical comes the reply. Now yes, it is unusual, if this is a wake, that the body has not been placed in a coffin yet.
The roller of big cigars is referred to in those terms because the mistress of ceremonies knows only his trade but not his name, as is so often the case with neighbours.
Lines As in stanza one, the last two lines hold a philosophical key. Lines This second stanza opens with another instruction from the speaker. And it was perhaps this poem that first empowered my falling-many years ago.
Who would know this? Was there an influence leading to the creation of this poem? The poem remains an elusive and enigmatic one, and this analysis can only go so far towards raising some of the key questions or what we view as key questions; others may differ.
This impresario gives out orders, demanding that a well-built man who works in a cigar-rolling factory whip up some ice-cream — for some guests, we surmise.
The poem is about so much more that its details but here we go. I think these comments below say more and say it better and clearer than I so I shall just comment on the commentators that they are a brilliant group and obviously love the written word.
I want to say, what difference does that make. Although I was sad that someone had passed away in the second stanza, by the time I finished reading I also felt happy. KwekweWikimedia Commons. Wallace Stevens - An Emperor of Poetry?
With this one word the poet is telling us that this is no ordinary scene.
We who love poetry salute you wherever you are. Why would boys bring flowers wrapped in newspaper to dawdling wenches at a wake? He held a high post in the Insurance industry, and needed a conservative image, unlike the expatriates who normally got space in the pages of their magazine Someone is directed to find a specific sheet to partly shroud the corpse, and its whereabouts are described.
To continue the summary: No-one had seen anything quite like it. Freshly rolled cigars, ice-cream, flowers!! Let the lamp affix its beam. We understand them to be thematically related. Then things get more abstract: The party with boys and wenches and the cigar-rolling caterer, ice cream, and flowers does not have to be related, as if in a linear narrative, to the woman in her bed being covered by the fantail-embroidered sheet, but it is thematically related, in sensuous exuberance; this is a high modernist poem, not a short story from What is this curious poem saying?
The Emperor of Ice-Cream Call the roller of big cigars, The muscular one, and bid him whip In kitchen cups concupiscent curds. It is more likely that they are dawdling at some undefined party. The speaker is allowing both sexes freedom: Following on from the verbs to call, to bid and to let in the first stanza, the verb to take brings more specific movement into the poem.
The ice cream is used in both stanzas as a symbol of transience. I hope you never have to visit a deceased loved one, such as your mother, in the reduced circumstances we find here. The second stanza is about grief. As I worked my way through I thought - this poem is all about celebrating an event with a party of sorts.‘The Emperor of Ice-Cream’ may well qualify for the accolade of ‘most baffling poem of the entire twentieth century’.
Written by Wallace Stevens () and published in his volume Harmonium, the poem is in the public domain according to Wikipedia, so we reproduce it below, along with a brief analysis of the poem’s meaning and language. Stevens' use of language elevates the ordinary, and celebrates the sensuous, but then bursts the bubble with 'the only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.' Part of the irony here, of course, is the fact that the voice seems to be in control of everything/5(16).
The poem begins with cigars and ice cream being prepared. Women ("wenches") are hanging out and boys are bringing flowers.
Hey, is somebody having a party? Nope, it turns out. These are preparations for a funeral, or perhaps more likely a wake. Who died? We learn that it's a she, and that she has "horny feet." Not attractive.
Jun 05, · The Emperor of Ice-Cream poem first appeared in Wallace Stevens' book Harmonium. When this slim volume was published, it changed the world of poetry. When this slim volume was published, it changed the world of mi-centre.coms: 2. Wallace Stevens' The Emperor of Ice-Cream poem is known for its poetic style as well as for its ambiguity, or intentional lack of resolution and clarity.
It suggests far more than it tells us, requiring analysis that uses imagery and language connotations, or associated or secondary meanings, to create a framework for determining meaning.
This poem is apparently "set" in Key West, a place that inspired much of Stevens's work, and where it was a tradition to have ice cream at funerals.Download