Wallace Stevens The Emperor of Ice Cream Poem After reading Wallace Stevens’s poem “The Emperor of Ice Cream” write a discussion response to the following:
What is the situation of the poem?
What is the setting? Hint: focus on the cues in the second stanza’s references to “cover[ing] her face with a sheet (line 12).
Who is the dead woman? To tease out the meaning of “The Emperor of Ice-Cream,” one of the most famously elliptical poems of the 20th century, maybe we should start by looking into the meaning of ice cream itself.
It turns out that its implications have changed a bit over time. Consider a text from roughly the same era, L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables (1908), in which a Sunday-school picnic drives the young heroine wild with anticipation: