The Emperor of Ice Cream

                                           –Wallace Stevens

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.

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About the poet:

Wallace Stevens was a famous American modernist writer. He was born on 2nd Oct 1879 in Reading, Pennsylvania, U.S. His father Garrett Barcalow Stevens  was a lawyer and businessman and his mother Margaretha Catharine Zeller was a school teacher. He studied at Harvard but he could not complete his degree and finally he gets his graduation from New York Law School. He married Elsie Kachel and gives birth to a daughter. Stevens got interested in verse writing and began to publish his first book Harmonium. Stevens spend most of his life time for working to an insurance company at Hartford. He spends most of his time behind a desk in his office. Through his imagination power Stevens had created many poems in his life time. He was died on 2nd Aug 1955 in Connecticut, U.S.

About the poem:

The poem The Emperor of Ice-cream was written by Wallace Stevens. The poem had contrast between the funeral and enjoyment. The poem begins with the line Call the roller of big cigars, the man who would be the master of ceremony was called to take in charge to the funeral. He instructs the people to fill the kitchen cups with concupiscent curds. Women’s are dressed attractively to attract the young boys and young boys brought flowers in the last month news papers. They are appeared to the funeral to chat with each other and also pretended to be sad. The whole place was filled with happiness instant of sadness. The first stanza brings the appearance and thoughts of people appeared to the funeral.

Second stanza gives an idea about the dead women and her condition in the society. Dead women were kept in the middle of the hall and the people opened the drawer to take cloth to cover her body. They found an old cloth which is embroidered by the dead women. They covered the cloth on the dead women and her legs remain uncovered. The feat of the dead women is very cold. The pity condition of the dead women is reflected in the second stanza.

The whole poem expresses an idea about the condition society and the house of dead women.

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