Significance of title “emperor of ice cream”

3 March 2018

The Emperor of Ice-cream one of the best known poems by Stevens is a poem of ideas picturing a deep amount of sensitivity and sexual implications. The sheet is spread over a woman’s face while the boys are bringing flowers; this makes sure that a funeral scene is being depicted in the poem. The tone of the poem is celebratory instead of being elegiac.The opening Stanza Of the poem shows that the characters are filled with fun who only value useless and meaningless things and as such they regard ice cream as their ruler or emperor. The reminisce of the funeral of the beautiful woman is also explained who valued an embroidered sheet that was made by her but in the end, she was left with nothing. A heavy element of lust is portrayed in the bowl filled with ice cream which becomes an object of human desire instead of merely being a dairy product.

The poet by using ice cream as a metaphor beautifully explains that just like a bowl filled with too much of ice cream is not good, similarly a life full of too many desires is injurious because no matter how rich, or how wealthy a person becomes he will not gain peace of mind because his or her greed for wanting more will never be satisfied. Just like the woman who was so attached with her embroidered cloth but he had to part with it because of death, all of us have to part with all the tangible and intangible things we love.The poem as the title suggests ‘The Emperor of Ice cream” looks funny from outside but when read carefully has a deep meaning inside. Stevens has attached the biggest truth of life, death with a funny note; death comes to one and all and those who stay attached to materialistic desires have to suffer in the end. What is advisable is that one should start De-attaching himself from his surroundings as soon as possible because we must understand the universal truth that life will indeed come o an end today or tomorrow. Prevention is as a matter of fact better than cure.The poet also says that though it is essential to disc-associate oneself from the world but till you are alive it is necessary to enjoy life because life is as short as an ice cream, it melts even before we can notice.

Just like an ice cream is carved for enjoyment, similarly life is carved by God to enjoy to the fullest. Detachment from material things is essential but this does not mean that one is not entitled to enjoy life. The poet also says that sex and lust are the ultimate truth of life and they should be accepted by the people at large.

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