Wallace Stevens The Emperor Of Ice-Cream

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Danny Cohen Mr. Ramlow 10 Honors English May 9 2015 “The Emperor Of Ice-Cream’’ While the subject of ice-cream in the esteemed poet Wallace Stevens’ poem “The Emperor of Ice-Cream’’ may invoke jovial, childhood memories of happy summers and family, explicating his poetry proves to be just the opposite, in its being an arduous task that baffled literary critics for decades after his poems were released. Also ironically, Stevens, who for most of his life was a lawyer in the dull,cold Hartford, Connecticut wrote primarily about “balmy climates and tropical fruit,” according to poetry critic Austin Allen. Stevens’ poems typically focus on abstract parts of life that prove difficult to understand at first, but after some effort usually have great…show more content…
By having “The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream,” concluding both of the stanzas it depicts that this lesson is universal in life and death.Extreme doubts of the meaning of the line “let be be finale of seem,” caused poetry experts to struggle for years over the meaning. According to literary critic Milton Bates this line “[rejects] the myth surrounding death and afterlife.” This again proves to show that Stevens wanted the reader to come away with the feeling that life must be cherished because the only thing that is certain is what you have right now. When talking about the dead lady, Stevens utilizes the word “cold.” This word has a direct relationship with the ice cream that is in the kitchen representing the happiness of life. The critic, Austin Allen, believes that “by linking the chill of death with a frozen dessert, Stevens seems to imply that death and the sensuous pleasures of life have something in common: detachment or isolation, perhaps.” This implies that even in life you may be alone or cold, which is exactly how the dead lady is by herself in the bedroom while everybody else is almost having a party in the
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