Dorothy Parker

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

Fair Weather


This level reach of blue is not my sea;
Here are sweet waters, pretty in the sun,
Whose quiet ripples meet obediently
A marked and measured line, one after one.
This is no sea of mine. that humbly laves
Untroubled sands, spread glittering and warm.
I have a need of wilder, crueler waves;
They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.

So let a love beat over me again,
Loosing its million desperate breakers wide;
Sudden and terrible to rise and wane;
Roaring the heavens apart; a reckless tide
That casts upon the heart, as it recedes,
Splinters and spars and dripping, salty weeds.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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  • Preston Morimondo (4/10/2014 8:31:00 AM)

    I'm shocked that this rates only a 6. It's an unusual poem for Parker, but that's what makes it so outstanding. The use of the couplet which undermines the quatrains is absolutely classic as far as the sonnet form goes. The scansion is smooth in the first two quatrains and rough in the third, and instead of being one of Parker's attempts to be cynical or to use self-consciously false bravado, this poem comes across as honest, beautiful, and tragic. I think it's one of Parker's best. (Report) Reply

    Savannah Collins (6/23/2014 8:00:00 PM)

    I completely agree. I have fallen in love with her work, and I have never read a Dorothy Parker poem I didn't like. Fair Weather is very much so a bit out of her comfort zone, but it is to be loved.

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