the collected poetry of dorothy parker review.

Happy Easter all!

Dorothy Parker filled her writing with wit, which made her a legend. Her writing mesmerized me. She had a way with creating poems that convey so much emotion. Parker became a co-founder of the Algonquin Round Table and wrote pieces for Vogue, Vanity Fair, and the New Yorker. She even worked on the A Star is Born, which earned her an Academy Award. Even though Parker built up the most impressive repertoire, she struggled with depression for the majority of her life. This collection is filled with all of her works ranging from Death and Taxes to Enough Rope.

I found this poetry collection during my time in Washington D.C. My roommate and I went on an adventure around the nation’s capital one sunny afternoon in April. We stumbled upon Capital Hill Books, one of the most magical bookstores I’ve ever set foot in. Floor to ceiling books piled haphazardly. I never wanted to leave. In the very back room of the store I found shelves filled with poetry. I knew I wanted to find one to commemorate my time spent in D.C.

Tucked away on one of the shelves I found The Collected Poetry of Dorothy Parker. I felt drawn to it. I purchased the book and my roommate and I went to a nearby park. We sat under the shade of the trees and I read Parker’s poems. That day holds strong in my mind and I’m forever grateful for the memories reading has given me to happy times.

Here are three of Parker’s poems that I felt deeply connected to while reading that day in the park. I hope you find something within them as I did.

Threnody

Lilacs blossom just as sweet
Now my heart is shattered.
If I bowled it down the street,
Who’s to say it mattered?
If there’s one that rode away
What would I be missing?
Lips that taste of tears, they say,
Are the best for kissing.

Eyes that watch the morning star
Seem a little brighter;
Arms held out to darkness are
Usually whiter.
Shall I bar the strolling guest,
Bind my brow with willow,
When, they say, the empty breast
Is the softer pillow?

That a heart falls tinkling down,
Never think it ceases.
Every likely lad in town
Gathers up the pieces.
If there’s one gone whistling by
Would I let it grieve me?
Let him wonder if I lie;
Let him half believe me.

Star Light, Star Bright

Star that gives a gracious dole,
What am I to choose?
Oh, will it be a shriven soul,
Or little buckled shoes?

Shall I wish a wedding-ring,
Bright and thin and round,
Or plead you send me covering —
A newly spaded mound?

Gentle beam, shall I implore
Gold, or sailing-ships,
Or beg I hate forevermore
A pair of lying lips?

Swing you low or high away,
Burn you hot or dim;
My only wish I dare not say —
Lest you should grant me him.

Lines on Reading Too Many Poets

Roses, rooted warm in earth,
Bud in rhyme, another age;
Lilies know a ghostly birth
Strewn along a patterned page;
Golden lad and chimbley sweep
Die; and so their song shall keep.

Wind that in Arcadia starts
In and out a couplet plays;
And the drums of bitter hearts
Beat the measure of a phrase.
Sweets and woes but come to print
Quae cum ita sint.

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