Dorothy Parker

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

Of a Woman, Dead Young


If she had been beautiful, even,
Or wiser than women about her,
Or had moved with a certain defiance;
If she had had sons at her sides,
And she with her hands on their shoulders,
Sons, to make troubled the Gods-
But where was there wonder in her?
What had she, better or eviler,
Whose days were a pattering of peas
From the pod to the bowl in her lap?

That the pine tree is blasted by lightning,
And the bowlder split raw from the mountain,
And the river dried short in its rushing-
That I can know, and be humble.
But that They who have trodden the stars
Should turn from Their echoing highway
To trample a daisy, unnoticed
In a meadow of small, open flowers-
Where is Their triumph in that?
Where is Their pride, and Their vengeance?

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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