Saturday, October 15, 2011

Classic Poetry~ "A Fairly Sad Tale" by Dorothy Parker Rothschild

Dorothy Parker Rothschild

A Fairly Sad Tale

I think that I shall never know

Why I am thus, and I am so.

Around me, other girls inspire

In men the rush and roar of fire,

The sweet transparency of glass,

The tenderness of April grass,

The durability of granite;

But me- I don't know how to plan it.

The lads I've met in Cupid's deadlock

Were- shall we say?- born out of wedlock.

They broke my heart, they stilled my song,

And said they had to run along,

Explaining, so to sop my tears,

First came their parents or careers.

But ever does experience

Deny me wisdom, calm, and sense!

Though she's a fool who seeks to capture

The twenty-first fine, careless rapture,

I must go on, till ends my rope,

Who from my birth was cursed with hope.

A heart in half is chaste, archaic;

But mine resembles a mosaic-

The thing's become ridiculous!

Why am I so? Why am I thus?

Dorothy Parker Rothschild was a feminist, an outspoken social and political activist, and a respected intellectual. A writer for, among other publications, Vanity Fair, Parker’s voice changed the tone of poetry, prose and the music of her time.

Here are some still-popular quotes attributed to her:

"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity."

"Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses."

"The only ism Hollywood believes in is plagiarism."

"I don't care what is written about me as long as it isn't true."

"This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force."

"Take care of luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves."

"Sorrow is tranquility remembered in emotion"

"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks."


  1. Kim, thanks for sharing this. I have not read much Dorothy Parker, but I do like the poem that you chose & found the quotes very interested. She definitely must have been a pace setter of a woman.

  2. I need to pick up my Parker Collection again!

  3. Great - love Dorothy Parker. My favorite quotes of hers (or attributed to her) are:

    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.
    The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.

  4. A glass raised here for Dorothy! She wrote often about the rain, and I for one can feel her pain. (If you like Dorothy and haven't seen Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, I recommend the film.)

  5. I love this, Kim! "the 21st fine careless rapture".......and cursed with hope......I so relate, hee hee!

  6. I love this and I'll be exploring more of her poetry. Thanks for posting it :)

  7. so wonderful, Dorothy Parker is a true hero of mine.
    i did not know that the girls who wear glasses quote was hers! so great. (although, in my experience, not true, hee hee)

  8. Great poem! There's so much here from truth to spunkiness to awesome use of words. I absolutely love it!

  9. I haven't read Dorothy Parker before.Thank you for choosing this one..It's really wonderful..touching with its simplicity..

  10. parker is an icon of intellectual womanhood.
    this (recording of her reading 'resume') has haunted me since the moment i heard it.

  11. How beautiful is the line "Sorrow is tranquility remembered in emotion." Very accurately described. Thanks for sharing some of her valuable work :)


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