Poem Hunter
A Certain Lady
(22 August 1893 - 7 June 1967 / Long Branch / New Jersey)

A Certain Lady

Poem By Dorothy Parker

Oh, I can smile for you, and tilt my head,
And drink your rushing words with eager lips,
And paint my mouth for you a fragrant red,
And trace your brows with tutored finger-tips.
When you rehearse your list of loves to me,
Oh, I can laugh and marvel, rapturous-eyed.
And you laugh back, nor can you ever see
The thousand little deaths my heart has died.
And you believe, so well I know my part,
That I am gay as morning, light as snow,
And all the straining things within my heart
You'll never know.

Oh, I can laugh and listen, when we meet,
And you bring tales of fresh adventurings, --
Of ladies delicately indiscreet,
Of lingering hands, and gently whispered things.
And you are pleased with me, and strive anew
To sing me sagas of your late delights.
Thus do you want me -- marveling, gay, and true,
Nor do you see my staring eyes of nights.
And when, in search of novelty, you stray,
Oh, I can kiss you blithely as you go ....
And what goes on, my love, while you're away,
You'll never know.

User Rating: 3,6 / 5 ( 119 votes ) 9

Comments (9)

I can't express in words what i feel about this beautiful poem.
an excellent poetess.i love this poem
I think this is the penultimate Dorothy Parker and I really never notice the rhyming because it is so natural, it just seems to happen rather than the author stretching to rhyme; one mark of an excellent poet to me.
One of my favourites by her, such ability to express a strong feeling, passion, yet not tell it to the loved one. Great!
I like the phrase drink your rushing words with eager lips. The protagonist is communicating her desire, her thirst for his attention. The phrase trace your brow with tutored fingertips makes me wonder how intimate her relationship is with this other person. Are they lovers of some sort? But the last line shows that this lack of consideration is a two way street: when he's away she might be having some adventures of her own.
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