pallas_athena: (Default)
Guinevere at Her Fireside
by Dorothy Parker

A nobler king had never breath -
I say it now, and said it then.
Who weds with such is wed till death
And wedded stays in Heaven. Amen.


(And oh, the shirts of linen-lawn,
And all the armor, tagged and tied,
And church on Sundays, dusk and dawn,
And bed a thing to kneel beside!)

The bravest one stood tall above
The rest, and watched me as a light.
I heard and heard them talk of love;
I'd naught to do but think, at night.

The bravest man has littlest brains;
That chalky fool from Astolat
With all her dying and her pains! -
Thank God, I helped him over that.

I found him not unfair to see -
I like a man with peppered hair!
And thus it came about. Ah me,
Tristram was busied otherwhere....

A nobler king had never breath -
I say it now, and said it then.
Who weds with such is wed till death
And wedded stays in Heaven. Amen.
pallas_athena: (Default)
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.
pallas_athena: (Default)
Ballade At Thirty-Five

This, no song of an ingenue,
This, no ballad of innocence;
This, the rhyme of a lady who
Followed ever her natural bents.
This, a solo of sapience,
This, a chantey of sophistry,
This, the sum of experiments:
I loved them until they loved me.


Decked in garments of sable hue,
Daubed with ashes of myriad Lents,
Wearing shower bouquets of rue,
Walk I ever in penitence.
Oft I roam, as my heart repents,
Through God's acre of memory,
Marking stones, in my reverence,
"I loved them until they loved me."


Pictures pass me in long review
Marching columns of dead events.
I was tender and, often, true;
Ever a prey to coincidence.
Always knew I the consequence;
Always saw what the end would be.
We're as Nature has made us - hence
I loved them until they loved me.


L'envoi
Princes, never I'd give offence;
Won't you think of me tenderly?
Here's my strength and my weakness, gents:
I loved them until they loved me.
pallas_athena: (Default)
Rainy Night

Ghosts of all my lovely sins,
Who attend too well my pillow,
Gay the wanton rain begins;
Hide the limp and tearful willow.

Turn aside your eyes and ears,
Trail away your robes of sorrow,
You shall have my further years-
You shall walk with me tomorrow.

I am sister to the rain;
Fey and sudden and unholy,
Petulant at windowpane,
Quickly lost, remembered slowly.

I have lived with shades, a shade;
I am hung with graveyard flowers.
Let me be tonight arrayed
In the silver of the showers.

Every fragile thing shall rust;
When another April passes
I may be a furry dust,
Sifting through the brittle grasses.

All sweet sins shall be forgot;
Who will live to tell their siring?
Hear me now, nor let me rot
Wistful still, and still aspiring.

Ghosts of dear temptations, heed;
I am frail, be you forgiving.
See you not that I have need
To be living with the living?

Sail, tonight, the Styx's breast;
Glide among the dim processions
Of the exquisite unblest,
Spirits of my shared transgressions,

Roam with young Persephone,
Plucking poppies for your slumber . . .
With the morrow, there shall be
One more wraith among your number.
pallas_athena: (Default)
Today's APOD appears to be the shores of Selidor and the Mountains of Pain. Don't ask me how NASA got there.

The limerick duel in the comments of this post continues to amuse me.

Disgusting Flu still lingers, meaning I can't see friends tonight as I'd planned. A shame. Dorothy Parker will have to attend the party instead:
The Flaw In Paganism

Drink and dance and laugh and lie,
Love, the reeling midnight through,
For tomorrow we shall die!
(But, alas, we never do.)
pallas_athena: (Default)
Portrait of the Artist

Oh, lead me to a quiet cell
Where never footfall rankles,
And bar the window passing well,
And gyve my wrists and ankles.

Oh, wrap my eyes with linen fair,
With hempen cord go bind me,
And, of your mercy, leave me there,
Nor tell them where to find me.

Oh, lock the portal as you go,
And see its bolts be double....
Come back in half an hour or so,
And I will be in trouble.
pallas_athena: (Default)
I'm stuck at home with Disgusting Flu, so to pass the time, I declare this DOROTHY PARKER WEEK.

This is something I've been wanting to do for some time. Parker is not only a fine wit but a fantastic poet, and her work deserves to be better known-- especially the stuff that doesn't end with a punchline (though a Parker punchline still packs more punch than most.)

I've posted poems of hers here before:
Braggart, which is the most fuck-off-world poem I know; and
The Satin Dress, a fine poem about sewing.

But how would Parker introduce herself? Like this, I think:

Fighting Words

Say my love is easy had,
Say I'm bitten raw with pride,
Say I am too often sad--
Still behold me at your side.

Say I'm neither brave nor young,
Say I woo and coddle care,
Say the devil touched my tongue--
Still you have my heart to wear.

But say my verses do not scan,
And I get me another man!

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