Dorothy Parker

(22 August 1893 - 7 June 1967 / Long Branch / New Jersey)

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,
The sweet transparency of glass,
The tenderness of April grass,
The durability of granite;
But me- I don't know how to plan it.
The lads I've met in Cupid's deadlock
Were- shall we say?- born out of wedlock.
They broke my heart, they stilled my song,
And said they had to run along,
Explaining, so to sop my tears,
First came their parents or careers.
But ever does experience
Deny me wisdom, calm, and sense!
Though she's a fool who seeks to capture
The twenty-first fine, careless rapture,
I must go on, till ends my rope,
Who from my birth was cursed with hope.
A heart in half is chaste, archaic;
But mine resembles a mosaic-
The thing's become ridiculous!
Why am I so? Why am I thus?

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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  • Herr Ibis (8/23/2009 12:11:00 AM)

    Dorothy Parker wrote with superlative wit.
    In her poetry and prose alike.
    Her ironic turn of phrase doesn't cease to smile out at us from a cheeky sideways gaze.
    Notwithstanding the earnest gravity in her questions (Why? and why?) , her regard holds fast to its humor (neither pallid nor pink) . An onerous thought in an onerous world lives cheek by jowl with laughter; unblanched and effervescent....... Er possibly that of the damned.
    But damned she is a pleasure.
    What succor, moreover, to return once and then to a modernist poet that can rhyme in verse without, all the while, being carried where the RHYME wants to go!
    Tonight I drink to Dorothy (Report) Reply

  • Talitha Mathew (2/22/2008 11:01:00 AM)

    Dorothy Parker's easy rhyming couplets are very 'Alexander Pope' while the humour - 'A fairly sad tale' - and colloquial language are distinctly modern. (Report) Reply

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