By Dorothy Parker
There’s a place I know where the birds swing low,
And wayward vines go roaming,
Where the lilacs nod, and a marble god
Is pale, in scented gloaming.
And at sunset there comes a lady fair
Whose eyes are deep with yearning.
By an old, old gate does the lady wait
Her own true love’s returning.
But the days go by, and the lilacs die,
And trembling birds seek cover;
Yet the lady stands, with her long white hands
Held out to greet her lover.
And it’s there she’ll stay till the shadowy day
A monument they grave her.
She will always wait by the same old gate, —
The gate her true love gave her.
Dorothy Parker’s biting wit made her a legend, but it also masked her lonely struggle with depression. A member of the Algonquin Round Table group of writers, she wrote criticism for Vogue, Vanity Fair, and later the New Yorker. During the 1930s Parker moved to Hollywood, where she worked on such films as A Star Is Born, for which she won an Academy Award.
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Back Up Quick They’re Hippies
That was the year we drove
into the commune in Cornwall.
“Jesus Jim,” mam said,
“back up quick they’re hippies.”
Through the car window,
tents, row after row, flaps open,
long-haired men and women
curled around each other like babies
and the babies themselves
wandered naked across the grass.
In the warmth of night I put feet to my plan: waited
for my brothers to sleep. They’d spent the day
sharpening their hooks, repairing the great net,
filling gourds with fresh water. They’d bundled
taro wrapped in leaves sitting below the cross seats.