Dorothy Parker

 

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.

 

DILEMMA

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!

 

SUPERFLUOUS ADVICE

Should they whisper false of you,

Never trouble to deny;

Should the words they say be true,

Weep and storm and swear they lie.

 

 

CODA

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?

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