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dorothy_parker_creative_commonsToday is a day I like to commemorate every year: Dorothy Parker’s birthday (1893-1967). I first came in contact with Mrs. Parker’s special brand of wit through a book of poetry, Love Poems by Women: An Anthology of Poetry from Around the World and Through the Ages, which is a volume edited by Wendy Mulford. Dorothy had a few poems in the book, including her poem entitled, “One Perfect Rose.” I can’t quote the whole poem here, though it’s short, because of copyright laws, but someone has taken the risk for me. (Don’t bother with the embedded video/audio for that site; it’s computer generated and completely lame.) The wonderful sense of irony in the short little ditty was so compelling, I had to read more and more of her work. After a while, having gone through her poems many times, I got a complete collection of her poems and short stories (mostly for the short stories, as I couldn’t find them anywhere else). Reading all of her fiction made me curious about her other work as a Broadway show critic for Vanity Fair, from 1918-1920 and then as a book reviewer with The New Yorker from 1925-1933. During this time, she published many, many poems and got quite a bit of critical acclaim. Later in her life, she became a screenwriter and was nominated for an Academy Award.

Dorothy’s words live on in her numerous satirical works and acerbic (often scathing) rhyming poems about everything under the sun. I strongly recommend her wonderful writing as a way to expand your horizons. Her topics are timeless. I only wish we had someone as brilliant to look up to now. She is an icon for women writers everywhere.

Thanks for celebrating her birthday with me today!


  1. Thanks for this – I’m a huge Dorothy Parker fan. She’s one of the few authors I read and re-read.

  2. I had never heard of her but what a sweet tribute.

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