Today I want to add to the list of inspiring women my muse, Dorothy Parker. Okay, let's admit it, her life was a shambles, filled with tragic losses, bad love affairs, ambivalence about her Jewish heritage, institutionalized barriers to women, far too much drinking and too many small dogs. But her poetry formed the blooms that rose from all that fertilizer -- and what exquisite flowers they were. A brief selection of some of my favourite bon mots:
Brevity is the soul of lingerie.
I don't do any thing. Not one single thing. I used to bite my nails, but I don't even do that any more.
A little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika.
I don't care what is written about me so long as it isn't true.
Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Gas smell awful;
You might as well live.
I do not like my state of mind;
I'm bitter, querulous, unkind.
I hate my legs, I hate my hands,
I do not yearn for lovelier lands.
I dread the dawn's recurrent light;
I hate to go to bed at night.
I snoot at simple, earnest folk.
I cannot take the simplest joke.
I find no peace in paint or type.
My world is but a lot of tripe.
I'm disillusioned, empty-breasted.
For what I think, I'd be arrested.
I am not sick. I am not well.
My quondam dreams are shot to hell.
My soul is crushed, my spirit sore:
I do not like me any more.
I cavil, quarrel, grumble, grouse.
I ponder on the narrow house.
I shudder at the thought of men.
I'm due to fall in love again.
In the pathway of the sun,
In the footsteps of the breeze,
Where the world and sky are one,
He shall ride the silver seas,
He shall cut the glittering wave.
I shall sit at home, and rock;
Rise, to heed a neighbour's knock;
Brew my tea, and snip my thread;
Bleach the linen for my bed.
They will call him brave.
Into love, and out again,
Thus I went, and thus I go.
Spare your voice, and hold your pen ---
Well and bitterly I know
All the songs were ever sung,
All the words were ever said;
Could it be, when I was young,
Some one dropped me on my head?
Bless you, Dotty. I aspire to match even a single line of your wit.