Dorothy Parker

(22 August 1893 - 7 June 1967 / Long Branch / New Jersey)

"Star Light, Star Bright--"


Star, that gives a gracious dole,
What am I to choose?
Oh, will it be a shriven soul,
Or little buckled shoes?

Shall I wish a wedding-ring,
Bright and thin and round,
Or plead you send me covering-
A newly spaded mound?

Gentle beam, shall I implore
Gold, or sailing-ships,
Or beg I hate forevermore
A pair of lying lips?

Swing you low or high away,
Burn you hot or dim;
My only wish I dare not say-
Lest you should grant me him.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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# 149 poem on top 500 Poems


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  • Bronze Star - 6,215 Points Amitava Sur (11/19/2014 1:06:00 AM)

    A beautiful prayer, remaining timid and submissive, only with an intense wish ...... Lest you should grant me him. ... too good (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 2,877 Points Pranab K Chakraborty (11/18/2014 11:08:00 PM)

    My only wish I dare not say-
    Lest you should grant me him.....

    Brilliant expression to expose the obsessive heart. Enjoyed. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,587 Points John Richter (11/18/2014 12:31:00 PM)

    Sounds like Dorothy knew what she wanted - but was at the same time fearful that she would be granted him. Perhaps it had something to do with the mention of a liar.... Miss Parker was an absolute pistol! (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,403 Points Kay Staley (11/18/2014 9:55:00 AM)

    The end is interesting. I am glad that wishing on a star does not work. What would life be without a little bit of sorrow; a little bit of working for what we want? A little bit of waiting and a little bit of anticipation for the things to come whether they are good or bad. (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 5,350 Points Col Muhamad Khalid Khan (11/18/2014 3:10:00 AM)

    Swing you low or high away,
    Burn you hot or dim;
    My only wish I dare not say-
    Lest you should grant me him
    An excellent poem on love which makes love eternal and supreme I enjoyed it.
    Col Muhammad Khalid khan (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 10,094 Points * Sunprincess * (11/12/2013 2:58:00 PM)

    I think I would wish for the gold and sailing ships...
    definitely not the pair of lying lips :) (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 2,549 Points Patricia Grantham (1/9/2013 5:54:00 AM)

    What a delicious poem! Oh so childlike but again a master of knowing what you want! How gracious.
    Very good poem (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 717 Points Cynthia Buhain-baello (6/29/2009 5:52:00 AM)

    Great engaging style! Straight easy-to-read and definitely and enjoyable poem.
    Dorothy Parker's style is no frills style and she writes simply without prolixity and she does not make the reader try to find his way out of a literary maze of words. Real poetry! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Alissa Murphy (2/8/2009 8:40:00 PM)

    I think she realizes that whatever her wish might be-love, fortune, passion, convention-there would be a sacrafice and a disappointment; nonetheless, her heart harbors a wish...a 'him.' (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kevin Straw (12/27/2008 7:38:00 AM)

    I'm not sure if DP is saying she'll not chose a man who wants to 'tame' her, or all men will try to do so, so she will chose none. Either way she is at her acidic best in this poem. Even the slightly old-fashioned tone adds bite. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Talitha Mathew (2/22/2008 10:55:00 AM)

    I like the contrast between the strong, nursery rhyme-like rhythm and the sharp sophistication of the thoughts and wishes encapsulated in this poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Lyndsey Keesee (2/21/2007 6:43:00 PM)

    I LOVE THIS POEM, IT IS ONE OF DOROTHY'S VERY BEST IN MY OPINION.
    SHE HAS SUCH A WAY WITH WORDS. SHE'S GREAT. (Report) Reply

Read all 14 comments »

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