I love Dorothy Parker. I love her wit and her ‘don’t give a damn’ attitude. So here are a few favourite poems from the indomitable Ms. Parker.
If I were mild, and I were sweet,
And laid my heart before your feet,
And took my dearest thoughts to you,
And hailed your easy lies as true;
Were I to murmur “Yes” and then
“How true, my dear,” and “Yes,” again,
And wear my eyes discreetly down,
And tremble whitely at your frown,
And keep my words unquestioning –
My love, you’d run like anything!
Should I be frail, and I be mad,
And share my heart with every lad,
But beat my head against the floor
What times you wandered past my door;
Were I to doubt, and I to sneer,
And shriek “Farewell!” and still be here,
And break your joy, and quench your trust –
I should not see you for the dust!
Should they whisper false of you,
Never trouble to deny;
Should the words they say be true,
Weep and storm and swear they lie.
There’s little in taking or giving,
There’s little in water or wine;
This living, this living, this living
Was never a project of mine.
Oh, hard is the struggle, and sparse is
The gain for one at the top,
For art is a form of catharsis,
And love is a permanent flop,
And work is the province of cattle,
And rest’s for a calm in a shell,
So I’m thinking of throwing the battle –
Would you kindly direct me to hell?