Friday, 1 April 2011

Perfect Contempt

Jason Guriel reviews Dorothy Parker's Complete Poems in this month's Poetry.
In general, Parker came up with no surprising images, similes, or metaphors of her own. The odd telephone makes an appearance and keeps things up to the minute. But for the most part she made do with lads, suns, stars, things, tears, time. The heart is so frequently reached for and handled in Parker’s poems it’s as worn and polished a prop as Yorick’s skull. Eliot wrote that it was the poet’s business “to make poetry out of the unexplored resources of the unpoetical.” Parker worked the exhausted resources of the poetical.

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