essential gaudiness

I think I should select from my poems as my favorite the Emperor of Ice Cream. This wears a deliberately commonplace costume, and yet seems to me to contain something of the essential gaudiness of poetry; that is the reason why I like it.

—Wallace Stevens, letter to William Rose Benét (6 January 1933), Letters of Wallace Stevens, selected & edited by Holly Stevens (Knopf, 1966, p263)

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