Dorothy Parker

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

The Red Dress


I always saw, I always said
If I were grown and free,
I'd have a gown of reddest red
As fine as you could see,

To wear out walking, sleek and slow,
Upon a Summer day,
And there'd be one to see me so
And flip the world away.

And he would be a gallant one,
With stars behind his eyes,
And hair like metal in the sun,
And lips too warm for lies.

I always saw us, gay and good,
High honored in the town.
Now I am grown to womanhood....
I have the silly gown.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Cherie Fox (5/17/2008 3:23:00 PM)

    Miriam Neiditch, a former English teacher from Philadelphia, chose this poem to be read at her funeral. Here is an excerpt from her eulogy about why she chose this particular poem.
    'Being a mensch—that’s what life was about for Miriam. It wasn’t about things. Miriam asked that we read the poem called the Red Dress that you heard a moment ago. Miriam told me that there was a red evening gown she had so coveted as a young girl and later when she could afford one, it just hung in her closet. “ The things we want” she said “ do not turn out to be the same as what we thought we wanted.” This was an important piece of wisdom she learned in her life that she wanted to share with you today. ' (Report) Reply

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