Dorothy Parker (1893–1967) used her talents to speak her mind through a candid pen.
- When my eyes are weeds,
- And my lips are petals, spinning
- Down the wind that has beginning
- Where the crumpled beeches start
- In a fringe of salty reeds;
- When my arms are elder-bushes,
- And the rangy lilac pushes
- Upward, upward through my heart;
- Summer, do your worst!
- Light your tinsel moon, and call on
- Your performing stars to fall on
- Headlong through your paper sky;
- Nevermore shall I be cursed
- By a flushed and amorous slattern,
- With her dusty laces’ pattern
- Trailing, as she straggles by.
A Very Short Song
- Once, when I was young and true,
- Someone left me sad —
- Broke my brittle heart in two;
- And that is very bad.
- Love is for unlucky folk,
- Love is but a curse.
- Once there was a heart I broke;
- And that, I think, is worse.
A Dream Lies Dead
- A dream lies dead here. May you softly go
- Before this place, and turn away your eyes,
- Nor seek to know the look of that which dies
- Importuning Life for life. Walk not in woe,
- But, for a little, let your step be slow.
- And, of your mercy, be not sweetly wise
- With words of hope and Spring and tenderer skies.
- A dream lies dead; and this all mourners know:
- Whenever one drifted petal leaves the tree —
- Though white of bloom as it had been before
- And proudly waitful of fecundity —
- One little loveliness can be no more;
- And so must Beauty bow her imperfect head
- Because a dream has joined the wistful dead!
Dorothy Parker (1893–1967) was an American writer, known for her poetry, short stories, and criticism, much of which was infused with a unique satirical style popular even to this day. Defined by her acerbic wit — she is often considered a successor of sorts to Oscar Wilde — she used her talents to speak her mind through a candid pen about the folly and vanity of the 20th Century. Her poetry, though, often shows an equally tender side to her talent. A founding member of the Algonquin Round Table, she established her literary footing through publication in The New Yorker before heading west to try her hand at Hollywood screenwriting, a career abridged after being blacklisted for her left-wing politics.