The Emperor’s New Clothes

By Kate Gale Kate Gale
Gertrude Stein.
We could end there.
But we won’t.
Because we want to make meaning.
Of something.
to say something.
Of value.
In order that.
It’s absolutely.
The professor said.
Wiggling his ears.
In a satisfied way.
And the students all said, Amen.
That’s the way with critical acclaim.
Absolutely.
There are rooms.
There are builders.
There is a clock.
There is a cake.
There is a rope.
There is a sounding to depths.
But when she dies, what then?
Who knew what it all meant?
And when all the modernists are dead?
The critics will babble and frenzy
forever to find the nouns she never wrote
between the crowded verbs and adverbs.

Kate Gale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes” from Fishers of Men. Copyright © 2000 by Kate Gale.  Reprinted by permission of Red Hen Press.

Source: Fishers of Men (Red Hen Press, 2000)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Kate Gale

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books, Poetry & Poets, Humor & Satire

 Kate  Gale

Biography

Kate Gale is the author of several poetry collections, including Mating Season (2004) and Fishers of Men (2000), as well as the novels Lake of Fire (2000) and Water Moccasins (1994). She is the founder and managing editor of Red Hen Press and editor of the Los Angeles Review.

Gale is the author of four librettos: Rio de Sangre with composer Don Davis which was performed in part at Disney Hall in 2005; Paradises Lost, . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books, Poetry & Poets, Humor & Satire

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.