Friday, September 14, 2007

Poetry Friday: Bric-A-Brac

My Poetry Friday contribution today is a piece by Dorothy Parker. For anyone interested in seeing Robert Altman's Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, I recommend first reading the biography What Fresh Hell is This? by Marion Meade so that you can actually understand some of the fleeting scenes and vignettes that have more meaning in a bigger context.


Little things that no one needs --
Little things to joke about --
Little landscapes, done in beads.
Little morals, woven out,
Little wreaths of gilded grass,
Little brigs of whittled oak
Bottled painfully in glass;
These are made by lonely folk.
Lonely folk have lines of days
Long and faltering and thin;
Therefore -- little wax bouquets,
Prayers cut upon a pin,
Little maps of pinkish lands,
Little charts of curly seas,
Little plats of linen strands,
Little verses, such as these.

--Dorothy Parker
Read the rest of the Poetry Friday Roundup over at HipWriterMama.


John Mutford said...

I like how her undersell of these items actually has the opposite effect. I'm not one for knick-knacks, but this poem could almost convince me otherwise. Almost.

Kelly Fineman said...

That is somehow a punch in the gut. I really must read more of her work.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

John and Kelly-- The poem makes me think of all of crafty things women have done over the centuries (after the hard work was "done," of course) to strive for some sort of creative outlet. I wonder if the collections of ceramic duckies and dogs are similar stretches toward the creative, i.e. having some purpose.

david elzey said...

It's been a while since I was up on my Parker, and now I want to rummage through the stacks. I seem to recall coming across this with some commentary that the last line was aimed at some populist poet of the day, her day, who was the best-selling poet at the time who was forgotten within a decade. Hmm. Library time...

jama said...

This took me by surprise. The "littleness" at the beginning really became something big by the end. Thanks for whetting my appetite for more Parker.

Gina MarySol Ruiz said...

I love Dorothy Parker! Thanks for sharing. Her poems always seem simple and yet they pack such a hard punch.

Liz in Ink said...

this is just perfection. And I love the photo almost as much as the poem...

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

David-- I did not know this piece of commentary. Thank you for posting it!

Jama-- You're welcome. These Poetry Friday posts always make me think, "Yeah, gotta read more of..."

Gina-- Yes, I think so too. In the movie, the DP character played by Jennifer Jason Leigh says, "I drink because I am thirsty and I write doodads because it's a doodad kind of town."

Liz in Ink-- I'm glad! I wavered between the young, smiling (or mysterious looking) DP and the older, obviously worn down DP.

Sara said...

And here we all are, discussing her "craft project." How ironic, and yet she knew that, didn't she? That her little words would last, and be "big." Or maybe she didn't, which is why I love all the ways you could read this poem.

cloudscome said...

"Little things, that no one needs..." and yet we do need this little poem!

Lone Star Ma said...

Library time, indeed!