Dorothy Parker was an American poet, short story writer, critic and satirist, best known for her wit, wisecracks, and eye for 20th century urban foibles.
From a conflicted and unhappy childhood, Parker rose to acclaim, both for her literary output in such venues as The New Yorker and as a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table. Following the breakup of the circle, Parker traveled to Hollywood to pursue screenwriting. Her successes there, including two Academy Award nominations, were curtailed as her involvement in left-wing politics led to a place on the Hollywood blacklist.
Parker went through three marriages (two to the same man) and survived several suicide ... more »
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Dorothy Parker Poems
A Very Short Song
Once, when I was young and true, Someone left me sad- Broke my brittle heart in two; And that is very bad.
"Star Light, Star Bright--"
Star, that gives a gracious dole, What am I to choose? Oh, will it be a shriven soul, Or little buckled shoes?
A Dream Lies Dead
A dream lies dead here. May you softly go Before this place, and turn away your eyes, Nor seek to know the look of that which dies Importuning Life for life. Walk not in woe,
A Certain Lady
Oh, I can smile for you, and tilt my head, And drink your rushing words with eager lips, And paint my mouth for you a fragrant red, And trace your brows with tutored finger-tips.
Razors pain you; Rivers are damp; Acids stain you; And drugs cause cramp.
One Perfect Rose
A single flow'r he sent me, since we met. All tenderly his messenger he chose; Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet - One perfect rose.
But Not Forgotten
I think, no matter where you stray, That I shall go with you a way. Though you may wander sweeter lands, You will not soon forget my hands,
When I am old, and comforted, And done with this desire, With Memory to share my bed And Peace to share my fire,
A Fairly Sad Tale
I think that I shall never know Why I am thus, and I am so. Around me, other girls inspire In men the rush and roar of fire,
When my eyes are weeds, And my lips are petals, spinning Down the wind that has beginning Where the crumpled beeches start
A Well-Worn Story
In April, in April, My one love came along, And I ran the slope of my high hill To follow a thread of song.
There's little in taking or giving, There's little in water or wine; This living, this living, this living Was never a project of mine.
In May my heart was breaking- Oh, wide the wound, and deep! And bitter it beat at waking, And sore it split in sleep.
They hail you as their morning star Because you are the way you are. If you return the sentiment, They'll try to make you different;
Quotationsmore quotations »
''Hollywood money isn't money. It's congealed snow, melts in your hand, and there you are.''Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. humorous writer. Interview in Writers at Work, First Series, ed. Malcolm Cowley (1958).
''Gratitudethe meanest and most snivelling attribute in the world.''Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. humorous writer. Interview in Writers at Work, First Series, ed. Malcolm Cowley (1958).
''All those writers who write about their childhood! Gentle God, if I wrote about mine you wouldn't sit in the same room with me.''Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. humorous writer. Interview in Writers at Work, First Series, ed. Malcolm Cowley (1958).
I can't talk about Hollywood. It was a horror to me when I was there and it's a horror to look back on. I can't imagine how I did it. When I got away from it I couldn't even refer to the place by name...Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. humorous writer. Interview in Writers at Work, First Series, ed. Malcolm Cowley (1958).
''Those who have mastered etiquette, who are entirely, impeccably right, would seem to arrive at a point of exquisite dullness.''Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. humorous writer. repr. in The Portable Dorothy Parker, pt. 2 (1944, revised 1973). "Mrs. Post Enlarges on Etiquette,"...
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
A Very Short Song
Once, when I was young and true,
Someone left me sad-
Broke my brittle heart in two;
And that is very bad.
Love is for unlucky folk,
Love is but a curse.
Once there was a heart I broke;
And that, I think, is worse.