By Dorothy Parker 1893–1967 Dorothy Parker
Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

Dorothy Parker, “Resumé” from The Portable Dorothy Parker, edited by Brendan Gill. Copyright 1926, 1928 and renewed 1954, © 1956 by Dorothy Parker. Reprinted with the permission of Viking Penguin, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Source: The Portable Dorothy Parker (Penguin Books, 2006)

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Poet Dorothy Parker 1893–1967

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Living, Humor & Satire, Arts & Sciences, Death

Poetic Terms Epigram, Aphorism

 Dorothy  Parker


Dorothy Parker’s biting wit made her a legend, but it also masked her lonely struggle with depression. A member of the Algonquin Round Table group of writers, she wrote criticism for Vogue, Vanity Fair, and later the New Yorker. During the 1930s Parker moved to Hollywood, where she worked on such films as A Star Is Born, for which she won an Academy Award.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Humor & Satire, Arts & Sciences, Death

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Epigram, Aphorism

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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