The witty American writer Dorothy Parker (b. 1893) takes up just under half a page in my edition of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations. When I looked at her entries recently, I was amused by new things about even the more familiar quotations -- for instance:
"Men seldom make passes
at girls who wear glasses."
That turns out to be from a larger piece of writing called "News Item." (I'm skeptical of just when it was news.)
Parker's observant wit shines best in a poem I'd never encountered before, "Inventory." It's presented as two quotations, but I'll run them together. Consider them as part of your own year-end inventory.
"Four be the things I am wiser to know:
Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe."
"Four be the things I'd been better without:
Love, curiosity, freckles, and doubt."
Better without love? I doubt it, but somehow I'm glad not to be able to get into a verbal sparring match with Dorothy Parker!
For more fun with words, stop by the Margaret Serious page on Facebook.
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