A Certain Lady


A Certain Lady was first published in the magazine Life on Aug. 7, 1924. It was later published in Parker's collection, Poems by Dorothy Parker (1926).
A Certain Lady
Jamison Hill, Dried rose and lipstick case, 2016

Oh, I can smile for you, and tilt my head, 
And drink your rushing words with eager lips, 
And paint my mouth for you a fragrant red, 
And trace your brows with tutored finger-tips. 
When you rehearse your list of loves to me, 
Oh, I can laugh and marvel, rapturous-eyed. 
And you laugh back, nor can you ever see 
The thousand little deaths my heart has died. 
And you believe, so well I know my part, 
That I am gay as morning, light as snow, 
And all the straining things within my heart 
You'll never know. 

Oh, I can laugh and listen, when we meet, 
And you bring tales of fresh adventurings, -- 
Of ladies delicately indiscreet, 
Of lingering hands, and gently whispered things. 
And you are pleased with me, and strive anew 
To sing me sagas of your late delights. 
Thus do you want me -- marveling, gay, and true, 
Nor do you see my staring eyes of nights. 
And when, in search of novelty, you stray, 
Oh, I can kiss you blithely as you go .... 
And what goes on, my love, while you're away, 
You'll never know. 

A Certain Lady was featured as The Short Story of the Day on Sat, Aug 22, 2020

This poem is featured in our selection of 100 Great Poems.


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