A Poem For Your Thoughts

Dorothy Parker: Interview


Davis Creach, Arts Editor

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Welcome back to A Poem For Your Thoughts, my poetic crusaders! This week’s entry comes from one of my favorite female poets of all time, so let’s not waste any time and dive head first! If you are a new reader to this column, allow me to introduce the format: Each edition will include two poems, the first being a featured piece written by a famous poet that will be analyzed and interpreted according to my point of view. Of course, everyone’s interpretation is different and valid, and the comment section will be open for any further discussion. The second piece is written by yours truly and will be open to complete interpretation and analysis. Go forth, enjoy, and as you read, remember: “It is not what you look at that matters, it is what you see.” – Henry David Thoreau

Poem One: Interview by Dorothy Parker

The ladies men admire, I’ve heard,
Would shudder at a wicked word.
Their candle gives a single light;
They’d rather stay at home at night.
They do not keep awake till three,
Nor read erotic poetry.
They never sanction the impure,
Nor recognize an overture.
They shrink from powders and from paints …
So far, I’ve had no complaints.

Thoughts: One of the reasons Dorothy Parker is one my favorite female poets is because she has so much wit and course sarcasm that accompany her pro-woman verse. In this particular poem, Parker used the folly of men’s judgment on the attractive qualities of a woman to empower herself and other women who don’t fall into the stereotypical quiet housewife. She encourages the readers to do as she does like “read erotic poetry” and “recognize and overture”. The speaker implies that the women men desire are those who are righteous, quiet, and uneducated (or at least less than himself). But our speaker is definitely not like that at all, and very subtext pokes fun at the men who expect her to conform to such a sheltered womanly form; our speaker would rather be independent, impactful, and passionate instead of “shudder[ing] at a wicked word” or “stay[ing] home at night”. Even though she may sacrifice relationships with hundreds of men, it is completely worth it to the speaker because she is true to herself and she wants a lover that will encourage truth instead of locking it away within society’s expectations. And our speaker notes, quite confidently in fact, “So far, I’ve had no complaints,” because she knows it’s better to be the genuine form of herself alone than be a fraction of herself with another man.

Poem Two: I Am by D.C.

What women see, I’m quite aware,

Is nothing but a fraction of a man, a splintered piece of masculinity.

They admire my feminine sensitivity only when they require its comfort,

But the appreciation and fleeting thoughts of affection are all but nonexistent.

They search for men of less substance,

Those who seek to displease and destroy them.

They search for men of a beastly complexion,

And toss aside those who have a sweeter sparkle in their eyes.

But I am still here, I am still a man, I am and always will be.

I am who I am, and He that is has a perfect love reserved.

I am a man, though not the bull the heifers swoon over…yet.



I hope you all enjoyed this week’s publication of A Poem For Your Thoughts! Have a great weekend, NASH, and we’ll see you right back here next Friday for more poetry and prose!