Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Poetry Break: Wallace Stevens

Politics has been a bit of a drain on my psyche these past 10 days, and I just so happen to have come across a great Walt Whitman post over at Bungalow Bill's tonight that has inspired me, so I ask your forgiveness if I digress somewhat into a more deft and gentlemanly world for a post or two.

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

I owe knowledge of this poem to two people: Alan Natali, may you forever be the gentle linebacker with mangled fingers and a subtle touch with students who give a fuck about writing; and Ron Forsythe, may you be bending the ear of Zeus on the finer points of everything from the NFL to the summary phrase at this very moment.


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