Becky Says...

June 2005

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Of Dorothy Parker - June 4

It's always fun to discover even more common ground with someone. Recently, I discovered that Benjamin and I have a mutual fondness for Dorothy Parker.

I first became familiar with her name from seeing four books of poetry on my mother's bookcase when I was a little girl. I first became familiar with her poetry itself when I heard one of the poems read one day on a talk show. That poem sent me looking into the books for more. And once I started reading them, I didn't stop until I had read all four books.

I soon realized that her poetry was delicious fun to read aloud. I didn't particularly care whether or not I had an audience; I just wanted to say those words. The poetry also became the subject of a high school term paper for me.

My mother was delighted that I had discovered Dorothy Parker. We had some wonderful conversations about the poems over the years (not to discount Mrs. Parker's other writings, but we were both more into the poetry). Those four volumes, which Mother had had since they were published, became a bonding agent for us, and were the source of a rite of passage for me when Mother gave them to me as I moved into my apartment.

In the ensuing years, I've had many opportunities to share a Dorothy Parker poem, for a good laugh and in many cases an apt point. And it was only fitting that in 1996, when Mother had had the third stroke and was drifting in and out of consciousness, the one thing that finally roused her was me reading to her from Enough Rope.

If you're not familiar with Dorothy Parker and her writings, I encourage you to become so. And if she's already a favorite of yours, by all means go get your favorite book and start reading again.

Text copyright 2000-2005 Becky