Cynical but funny, that’s probably the best way to describe Dorothy Parker’s poetry. In Interview she discusses the ideal woman. Or better yet, a man’s idea of an ideal woman. Only to conclude that she is nothing like that and that’s just fine. Even though this self-deprecating ending mostly has a sarcastic undertone, it’s also a good example of how she wasn’t afraid to be her own woman in the first part of the 20th century. So cynical, funny and maybe even a bit inspirational then.

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.

Dorothy Parker

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