poets I’m reading: Dorothy Parker

A selection of short and not necessarily sweet poems by the redoubtable Dorothy Parker.

Unfortunate Coincidence

By the time you swear you’re his,

Shivering and sighing,

And he vows his passion is

Infinite, undying –

Lady, make a note of this:

One of you is lying.

 

Sanctuary

My land is bare of chattering folk;

The clouds are low along the ridges,

And sweet’s the air with curly smoke

From all my burning bridges.

 

George Sand

What time the gifted lady took

Away from paper, pen, and book,

She spent in amorous dalliance

(They do those things so well in France).

 

Bohemia

Authors and actors and artists and such

Never know nothing, and never know much.

Sculptors and singers and those of their kidney

Tell their affairs from Seattle to Sydney.

Playwrights and poets and such horses’ necks

Start off from anywhere, end up at sex.

Diarists, critics, and similar roe

Never say nothing, and never say no.

People Who Do Things exceed my endurance;

God, for a man that solicits insurance!

 

From The Penguin Dorothy Parker: Penguin Books Ltd, 1973. (Revised and enlarged edition of The Portable Dorothy Parker published in 1944)


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