Dorothy Parker: A Very Short Song

Dorothy Parker
(22 August, 1893 - 7 June, 1967)

A Very Short Song

Once, when I was young and true
     Someone left me sad –
Broken my brittle heart in two
     And that is very bad.

Love is for unlucky folk,
    Love is but a curse.
Once there was a heart I broke;
    And that, I think, is worse.

                                    ~ ~ ~ 

Dorothy Parker was an American poet, short story writer, critic and satirist, best known for her wit, wisecracks, and eye for 20th-century urban foibles.

From a conflicted and unhappy childhood, Parker rose to acclaim, both for her literary output in such venues as The New Yorker and as a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table. Following the break-up of the circle, Parker travelled to Hollywood to pursue screenwriting. She was twice nominated for an Academy Award. Her screenwriting career was curtailed by being blacklisted by Hollywood for her involvement in left-wing politics.  

Her book reviews appeared semi-regularly from 1927 to 1933, were widely read, and were later published in a collection under the name Constant Reader in 1970. She became famous for her short, viciously humorous poems, many about the perceived ludicrousness of her many (largely unsuccessful) romantic affairs, wistfully considering the appeal of suicide.