Dorothy Parker

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

Ballade Of A Great Weariness - Poem by Dorothy Parker

There's little to have but the things I had,
There's little to bear but the things I bore.
There's nothing to carry and naught to add,
And glory to Heaven, I paid the score.

There's little to do but I did before,
There's little to learn but the things I know;
And this is the sum of a lasting lore:
Scratch a lover, and find a foe.

And couldn't it be I was young and mad
If ever my heart on my sleeve I wore?
There's many to claw at a heart unclad,
And little the wonder it ripped and tore.
There's one that'll join in their push and roar,
With stories to jabber, and stones to throw;
He'll fetch you a lesson that costs you sore:
Scratch a lover, and find a foe.

So little I'll offer to you, my lad;
It's little in loving I set my store.
There's many a maid would be flushed and glad,
And better you'll knock at a kindlier door.
I'll dig at my lettuce, and sweep my floor,
Forever, forever I'm done with woe.
And happen I'll whistle about my chore,
"Scratch a lover, and find a foe."



L'ENVOI

Oh, beggar or prince, no more, no more!
Be off and away with your strut and show.
The sweeter the apple, the blacker the core:
Scratch a lover, and find a foe!


Comments about Ballade Of A Great Weariness by Dorothy Parker

  • Practicing Poetess (11/14/2017 11:14:00 PM)


    This poem is less about weariness than it is about swearing off men! Still, very well written.
    (I wonder did she write this in jest?)
    RIP Dorothy. Your work lives on.
    (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Muzahidul Reza (11/14/2017 6:32:00 PM)


    There's little to have but the things I had,
    There's little to bear but the things I bore.
    There's nothing to carry and naught to add,
    And glory to Heaven, I paid the score. excellently composed
    (Report) Reply

  • Francis Lynch (11/14/2017 5:35:00 PM)


    She need to scratch a little deeper... bury those claws, Dorothy. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (11/14/2017 2:22:00 PM)


    At a heart unclad! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (11/14/2017 1:47:00 PM)


    Such a great write by Dorothy Parker... (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (11/14/2017 12:44:00 PM)


    This is a poem of exquisite beauty interspersed with a philosophy of life.
    Loved its lyrical flow and its message. Thanks.
    (Report) Reply

  • Savita Tyagi (11/14/2017 8:03:00 AM)


    Beautiful poem! The pain of reality and the rhythm of life less than perfect and ordinary send us the spark to brighten our soul. (Report) Reply

  • Glen Kappy (11/14/2017 8:01:00 AM)


    For me “a heart unclad” is a striking image. But if we use more common words like “jaded” or “hardened” we realize this condition stands in the way of love and awe. -GK (Report) Reply

  • Anil Kumar Panda (11/14/2017 6:47:00 AM)


    What a beautiful poem! !
    The repetition of Scratch a lover, and find a foe. makes it so sweet to read and its quite a meaningful line. Hope you will find peace and happiness forgetting the past. Very nice.10++++
    (Report) Reply

  • Kumarmani Mahakul (11/14/2017 5:36:00 AM)


    There's little to do but I did before,
    There's little to learn but the things I know;
    And this is the sum of a lasting lore:
    Scratch a lover, and find a foe.....nice theme. Beautiful poem shared.
    (Report) Reply

  • Alexander Julian (11/14/2017 3:59:00 AM)


    This is a type of fervor I don't agree with. Although your past is important, it's not like everything of the present is everything of the past. You'll make discoveries and expand your horizons. (Report) Reply

  • (11/14/2017 12:16:00 AM)


    This poem is full of weariness. (Report) Reply

Read all 12 comments »




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Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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