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A poem
Thread poster: Kim Metzger

Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 03:20
German to English
Nov 28, 2004

The Emperor of Ice-Cream

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.

Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)

Notes
1] Stevens confessed in letters to William Rose Benét in January 1933 that this poem, offering both the "commonplace" and a certain "gawdiness," took little effort to write (Letters, 263-64).
3] concupiscent: sexually arousing.
9] deal: wood of fir or pine.
11] fantails: according to Stevens himself in June 1939, fantail pigeons (Letters, 340-41).


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