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Food Poem Fridays: The Emperor of Ice Cream

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Every Friday, we’re mixing things up with a different kind of food writing. More specifically, food poetry to be read slowly, over your morning coffee. This week, ice cream satisfies more than just our sugar craving.

Ice Cream Week is drawing to a close, but our sweet tooth is no less unrelenting. So far, we’ve made our own batches of ice cream with only one ingredient (or two or three), we’ve followed it through the ages, and we’ve finally settled the differences between sherbet and custard. Now, we’re looking at how ice cream satisfies more than just the sweet tooth. 

For some, this poem will be a trip down lit class memory lane, for others, a reintroduction to the well-loved Wallace Stevens. For all of us, it reaffirms that ice cream is synonymous with pleasure. We may be switching our focus soon, but don’t let us stop you: you’re free to carry on Ice Cream Week for the rest of the month. And maybe the one after that. In cone consumption, we’ll be right there with you. 

The Emperor of Ice-Cream by Wallace Stevens 

Tags: what we're reading, food poem fridays, wallace stevens, ice cream, poem

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Comments (2)


about 3 years ago Eliz.

The pleasure of ice cream, in this case, is for the living who also bring flowers to the funeral of the woman whose "horny feet" stick out from the bottom of the sheet she once embroidered. The delicious cold of the whipped curds (first stanza) contrasts with the grim cold of the deceased's body (second). Shudder!


about 3 years ago nzle

With thanks to commenter Shoshanadh, who reminded us of the poem here!