Stevens said this was his favorite of his own poems. I’ve always loved it, first for the sounds and lush words, gradually for the scene that began to emerge. My grandparents, just a little younger than Stevens, shared his sense of ice cream as something new and magical. My grandfather smiled at its mention in the same way he did when he described seeing women’s ankles for the first time as hems began to creep up. My mother remembered hand-cranked pineapple ice cream as her favorite childhood dessert, and made a note in my baby book when I had my first taste of ice cream–then finished the bowl and wanted more. Stevens’ poem captures the thrill and delight and sensual pleasure of ice cream, and its evanescence: death is just in the other room. I found this great account at the Poetry Foundation.
Feel free to add your own thoughts about the poem, ice cream, and other hot weather favorites.