If The Emperor Wears No Clothes
Karl Constantine FOLKES 1935 (Portland)
Marcusian stripes returned to haunt.
In a one-dimensional world.
Where is the logic of it all?
Aristotle’s fame befuddled.
Pride and Prejudice discovered.
It’s Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four.
Returned to us this Century.
“Big Brother “ looming everywhere.
Propositioned to what is false.
The world indeed is upside down.
With the truth fallen on its side.
“Toy Soldiers” fallen on their sides.
Figures of subjects, all to deceive.
Slain by deductive reasoning.
Falsely asserted to be true.
The wherewithal to crown a lie.
Conclusions made nonsensical.
Inferences patently false.
“Matter-of-fact” cynical world.
This our world inhabited now.
Where blatant lies reverse the truth.
With “Newspeak” becoming the vogue.
A web of domination rules.
With all of us entangled souls.
Spawned as one-dimensional man.
This then is now a charge I give:
“If the emperor is nudely clothed.
Be brave; reveal his nakedness!”
About this poem
Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979) was a German-American philosopher, sociologist, and political theorist. As an undergraduate major of sociology and languages, I became a little familiar with his Frankfurt School philosophy, anchored in my mind by his use of the phrase, “One-Dimensional Man.” Some of his strident philosophical propositions and commentaries seem so relevant today where, because of the prevalence and even dominance of “alternative truths” operating in the halls of government, many of us conclude, either falsely or correctly, that we have come to inhabit a world informed by “matter-of-fact-cynicism” and with many of us as citizens, not confronting falsity, but instead, choosing to look the other way when the emperor, be he president or prime minister, in all his haughtiness, is exposed to be stark naked before his subjects and wearing no ironclad clothing. An historical background to the poem is in order. Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) was a Danish author and a prolific writer of many plays, novels, and poems. This poem, “If the Emperor Wears No Clothes,” adapts its title from Andersen’s 1837 story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” a literary folktale composed by Andersen about a vainglorious emperor who stands literally and metaphorically exposed before his loyal subjects. With the scales of ignorance eventually removed from their eyes, they finally see him for what he really is; a tyrant, empty of substance, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing of moral value. more »
Written on January 23, 2022
Submitted by karlcfolkes on January 23, 2022
Modified by karlcfolkes on September 19, 2022
- 55 sec read
- 886 Views
|Scheme||XAB XXX XXX AXX ACX XXX CAB XXX AAX XXA|
|Closest metre||Iambic tetrameter|
|Stanza Lengths||3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3|
Find a translation for this poem in other languages:
Select another language:
- - Select -
- 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
- 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
- Español (Spanish)
- Esperanto (Esperanto)
- 日本語 (Japanese)
- Português (Portuguese)
- Deutsch (German)
- العربية (Arabic)
- Français (French)
- Русский (Russian)
- ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
- 한국어 (Korean)
- עברית (Hebrew)
- Gaeilge (Irish)
- Українська (Ukrainian)
- اردو (Urdu)
- Magyar (Hungarian)
- मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
- Indonesia (Indonesian)
- Italiano (Italian)
- தமிழ் (Tamil)
- Türkçe (Turkish)
- తెలుగు (Telugu)
- ภาษาไทย (Thai)
- Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
- Čeština (Czech)
- Polski (Polish)
- Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
- Românește (Romanian)
- Nederlands (Dutch)
- Ελληνικά (Greek)
- Latinum (Latin)
- Svenska (Swedish)
- Dansk (Danish)
- Suomi (Finnish)
- فارسی (Persian)
- ייִדיש (Yiddish)
- հայերեն (Armenian)
- Norsk (Norwegian)
- English (English)
Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:
"If The Emperor Wears No Clothes" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 29 May 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/118366/if-the-emperor-wears-no-clothes>.
Discuss the poem "If The Emperor Wears No Clothes" with the community...
We're doing our best to make sure our content is useful, accurate and safe.
If by any chance you spot an inappropriate comment while navigating through our website please use this form to let us know, and we'll take care of it shortly.
You need to be logged in to favorite.