18+ Best Dorothy Parker Poems You Must Read

Dorothy Parker was an American poet, writer, critic, and satirist based in New York; she was best known for her wit, wisecracks, and eye for 20th-century urban foibles.

If you’re searching for famous poems ever that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of selected Ogden Nash poems, best known Sharon Olds poems, and most famous Sylvia Plath poems.

Famous Dorothy Parker Poems

The Searched Soul

When I consider, pro and con,
What things my love is built upon —
A curly mouth; a sinewed wrist;
A questioning brow; a pretty twist
Of words as old and tried as sin;
A pointed ear; a cloven chin;
Long, tapered limbs; and slanted eyes
Not cold nor kind nor darkly wise —
When so I ponder, here apart,
What shallow boons suffice my heart,
What dust-bound trivia capture me,
I marvel at my normalcy.

Summary

Every love’s the love before
In a duller dress.
That’s the measure of my lore-
Here’s my bitterness:
Would I knew a little more,
Or very much less!

The Willow

On sweet young earth where the myrtle presses,
Long we lay, when the May was new;
The willow was winding the moon in her tresses,
The bud of the rose was told with dew.

And now on the brittle ground I’m lying,
Screaming to die with the dead year’s dead;
The stem of the rose is black and drying,
The willow is tossing the wind from her head.

Testament

Oh, let it be a night of lyric rain
And singing breezes, when my bell is tolled.
I have so loved the rain that I would hold
Last in my ears its friendly, dim refraln.
I shall lie cool and quiet, who have lain
Fevered, and watched the book of day unfold.
Death will not see me flinch; the heart is bold
That pain has made incapable of pain.

Kinder the busy worms than ever love;
It will be peace to lie there, empty-eyed,
My bed made secret by the leveling showers,
My breast replenishing the weeds above.
And you will say of me, “Then has she died?
Perhaps I should have sent a spray of flowers.”

Story

And if he’s gone away,” said she,
“Good riddance, if you’re asking me.
I’m not a one to lie awake
And weep for anybody’s sake.
There’s better lads than him about!
I’ll wear my buckled slippers out
A-dancing till the break of day.
I’m better off with him away!
And if he never come,” said she,
“Now what on earth is that to me?
I wouldn’t have him back!”
I hope
Her mother washed her mouth with soap.

Roundel

She’s passing fair; but so demure is she,
So quiet is her gown, so smooth her hair,
That few there are who note her and agree
She’s passing fair.

Yet when was ever beauty held more rare
Than simple heart and maiden modesty?
What fostered charms with virtue could compare?

Alas, no lover ever stops to see;
The best that she is offered is the air.
Yet- if the passing mark is minus D-
She’s passing fair.

Sight

Unseemly are the open eyes
That watch the midnight sheep,
That look upon the secret skies
Nor close, abashed, in sleep;

That see the dawn drag in, unbidden,
To birth another day-
Oh, better far their gaze were hidden
Below the decent clay.

Sonnet On An Alpine Night

My hand, a little raised, might press a star-
Where I may look, the frosted peaks are spun,
So shaped before Olympus was begun,
Spanned each to each, now, by a silver bar.
Thus to face Beauty have I traveled far,
But now, as if around my heart were run
Hard, lacing fingers, so I stand undone.
Of all my tears, the bitterest these are.

Who humbly followed Beauty all her ways,
Begging the brambles that her robe had passed,
Crying her name in corridors of stone,
That day shall know his weariedest of days –
When Beauty, still and suppliant at last,
Does not suffice him, once they are alone.

Walter Savage Landor

Upon the work of Walter Landor
I am unfit to write with candor.
If you can read it, well and good;
But as for me, I never could.

Rondeau RedoublÉ

The same to me are somber days and gay.
Though Joyous dawns the rosy morn, and bright,
Because my dearest love is gone away
Within my heart is melancholy night.

My heart beats low in loneliness, despite
That riotous Summer holds the earth in sway.
In cerements my spirit is bedight;
The same to me are somber days and gay.

Though breezes in the rippling grasses play,
And waves dash high and far in glorious might,
I thrill no longer to the sparkling day,
Though joyous dawns the rosy morn, and bright.

Ungraceful seems to me the swallow’s flight;
As well might heaven’s blue be sullen gray;
My soul discerns no beauty in their sight
Because my dearest love is gone away.

Let roses fling afar their crimson spray,
And virgin daisies splash the fields with white,
Let bloom the poppy hotly as it may,
Within my heart is melancholy night.

And this, O love, my pitiable plight
Whenever from my circling arms you stray;
This little world of mine has lost its light….
I hope to God, my dear, that you can say
The same to me.

The Immortals

If you should sail for Trebizond, or die,
Or cry another name in your first sleep,
Or see me board a train, and fail to sigh,
Appropriately, I’d clutch my breast and weep.
And you, if I should wander through the door,
Or sin, or seek a nunnery, or save
My lips and give my cheek, would tread the floor
And aptly mention poison and the grave.

Therefore the mooning world is gratified,
Quoting how prettily we sigh and swear;
And you and I, correctly side by side,
Shall live as lovers when our bones are bare
And though we lie forever enemies,
Shall rank with Abelard and Heloise.

Story Of Mrs. W

My garden blossoms pink and white,
A place of decorous murmuring,
Where I am safe from August night
And cannot feel the knife of Spring.

And I may walk the pretty place
Before the curtsying hollyhocks
And laundered daisies, round of face-
Good little girls, in party frocks.

My trees are amiably arrayed
In pattern on the dappled sky,
And I may sit in filtered shade
And watch the tidy years go by.

And I may amble pleasantly
And hear my neighbors list their bones
And click my tongue in sympathy,
And count the cracks in paving-stones.

My door is grave in oaken strength,
The cool of linen calms my bed,
And there at night I stretch my length
And envy no one but the dead.

Thomas Carlyle

Carlyle combined the lit’ry life
With throwing teacups at his wife,
Remarking, rather testily,
“Oh, stop your dodging, Mrs. C.!”

The Passionate Freudian To His Love

Only name the day, and we’ll fly away
In the face of old traditions,
To a sheltered spot, by the world forgot,
Where we’ll park our inhibitions.
Come and gaze in eyes where the lovelight lies
As it psychoanalyzes,
And when once you glean what your fantasies mean
Life will hold no more surprises.
When you’ve told your love what you’re thinking of
Things will be much more informal;
Through a sunlit land we’ll go hand-in-hand,
Drifting gently back to normal.

While the pale moon gleams, we will dream sweet dreams,
And I’ll win your admiration,
For it’s only fair to admit I’m there
With a mean interpretation.
In the sunrise glow we will whisper low
Of the scenes our dreams have painted,
And when you’re advised what they symbolized
We’ll begin to feel acquainted.
So we’ll gaily float in a slumber boat
Where subconscious waves dash wildly;
In the stars’ soft light, we will say good-night—
And “good-night!” will put it mildly.

Our desires shall be from repressions free—
As it’s only right to treat them.
To your ego’s whims I will sing sweet hymns,
And ad libido repeat them.
With your hand in mine, idly we’ll recline
Amid bowers of neuroses,
While the sun seeks rest in the great red west
We will sit and match psychoses.
So come dwell a while on that distant isle
In the brilliant tropic weather;
Where a Freud in need is a Freud indeed,
We’ll always be Jung together.

Parties: A Hymn Of Hate

I hate Parties;
They bring out the worst in me.
There is the Novelty Affair,
Given by the woman
Who is awfully clever at that sort of thing.
Everybody must come in fancy dress;
They are always eleven Old-Fashioned Girls,
And fourteen Hawaiian gentlemen
Wearing the native costume
Of last season’s tennis clothes, with a wreath around the
neck.
The hostess introduces a series of clean, home games:
Each participant is given a fair chance
To guess the number of seeds in a cucumber,
Or thread a needle against time,
Or see how many names of wild flowers he knows.
Ice cream in trick formations,
And punch like Volstead used to make
Buoy up the players after the mental strain.
You have to tell the hostess that it’s a riot,
And she says she’ll just die if you don’t come to her next
party-
If only a guarantee went with that!
Then there is the Bridge Festival.
The winner is awarded an arts-and-crafts hearth-brush,
And all the rest get garlands of hothouse raspberries.
You cut for partners
And draw the man who wrote the game.
He won’t let bygones be bygones;
After each hand
He starts getting personal about your motives in leading
clubs,
And one word frequently leads to another.
At the next table
You have one of those partners
Who says it is nothing but a game, after all.
He trumps your ace
And tries to laugh it off.
And yet they shoot men like Elwell.
There is the Day in the Country;
It seems more like a week.
All the contestants are wedged into automobiles,
And you are allotted the space between two ladies
Who close in on you.
The party gets a nice early start,
Because everybody wants to make a long day of it-
The get their wish.
Everyone contributes a basket of lunch;
Each person has it all figured out
That no one else will think of bringing hard-boiled eggs.
There is intensive picking of dogwood,
And no one is quite sure what poison ivy is like;
They find out the next day.
Things start off with a rush.
Everybody joins in the old songs,
And points out cloud effects,
And puts in a good word for the colour of the grass.
But after the first fifty miles,
Nature doesn’t go over so big,
And singing belongs to the lost arts.
There is a slight spurt on the homestretch,
And everyone exclaims over how beautiful the lights of the
city look-
I’ll say they do.
And there is the informal little Dinner Party;
The lowest form of taking nourishment.
The man on your left draws diagrams with a fork,
Illustrating the way he is going to have a new sun-parlour
built on;
And the one on your right
Explains how soon business conditions will better, and why.
When the more material part of the evening is over,
You have your choice of listening to the Harry Lauder records,
Or having the hostess hem you in
And show you the snapshots of the baby they took last summer.
Just before you break away,
You mutter something to the host and hostess
About sometime soon you must have them over-
Over your dead body.
I hate Parties;
They bring out the worst in me.

General Review Of The Sex Situation

Woman wants monogamy;
Man delights in novelty.
Love is woman’s moon and sun;
Man has other forms of fun.
Woman lives but in her lord;
Count to ten, and man is bored.
With this the gist and sum of it,
What earthly good can come of it?

Poem In The American Manner

I dunno yer highfalutin’ words, but here’s th’ way it seems
When I’m peekin’ out th’ winder o’ my little House o Dreams;
I’ve been lookin’ ‘roun’ this big ol’ world, as bizzy as a hive,
An’ I want t’ tell ye, neighbor mine, it’s good t’ be alive.
I’ve ben settin’ here, a-thinkin’ hard, an’ say, it seems t’ me
That this big ol’ world is jest about as good as it kin be,
With its starvin’ little babies, an’ its battles, an’ its strikes,
An’ its profiteers, an’ hold-up men—th’ dawggone little tykes!
An’ its hungry men that fought fer us, that nobody employs.
An’ I think, ‘Why, shucks, we’re jest a lot o’ grown-up little boys!’
An’ I settle back, an’ light my pipe, an’ reach fer Mother’s hand,
An’ I wouldn’t swap my peace o’ mind fer nothin’ in the land;
Fer this world uv ours, that jest was made fer folks like me an’ you
Is a purty good ol’ place t’ live—say, neighbor, ain’t it true?

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