Tony Peyser: Dorothy Parker Is Rarely Seen

(Dorothy Parker Is rarely seen In
anthologies of 'Important' poetry)

The current state of her legacy
Appears to be under a slight curse
Ignored in certain circles because
She's a practitioner of 'light verse.'

She emerged back in an era when
People wore a hat on their head.
Books, magazines and papers reigned and
She was what those who read read.

The poetry establishment also
Was prompted to recoil and bristle
Because of her Hollywood success
Which added to their dismissal.

One thing that makes poetry mavens
Regard a poet like a matinee idol
Is if a particular poet in question
In the end wound up suicidal.

That list is a long and revered one
Which any critic of note you please
Can rattle off: Crane, Welch, Plath,
Berryman, Lindsay and Kees.

To them I say: reconsider Parker
Despite her comical rhymes
Because Dorothy did manage to
Try killing herself four times.

She wrote about suicide in 'Résumé.'
This famous poem made many sit up
And should remind literary historians
That she wasn't making this shit up.

If that's not enough, just re-read her:
You'll notice she did write
With an awful lot of darkness in verses
Wrongly characterized as light.

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