Dorothy Parker · insomnia · poetry

Help Me, Dorothy Parker.

“Oh, sad are winter nights, and slow;

And sad’s a song that’s dumb;

And sad it is to lie and know

Another dawn will come.” ¹

In the last week, Insomnia has made me her bitch. I was on a roll, sleeping through nearly every night like the dead, and suddenly, I’m wide awake. And it’s making me even crazier. Last night I found myself sitting on the deck outside my room at 4 o’clock A.M., because I was too restless to stay in bed anymore, and I had to do something different. I sat on the bench, wrapped up in my blanket, with my headphones on, listening to John Lithgow read poetry in the dark. Eventually I got tired of sitting there (actually, my butt & feet were chilly), so I went back inside, and tried to read. I couldn’t focus on my new mystery, so I cracked open the Dorothy Parker book on my nightstand.

Dorothy understands the long nights. Yeah, I know, most poets do, but Dorothy just reaches me in a way that works better than anyone else. When my life is falling apart, and my broken heart is screaming, I know that I can read my favorite poet (or her short stories!), and find a companion.  I’ve not memorized many poems, but they are all hers.

Granted, reading didn’t help me fall asleep last night, but it did make me feel better about being awake all night.


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.

Three be the things I shall never attain:
Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.

Three be the things I shall have till I die:
Laughter and hope and a sock in the eye. ²

¹”The Small Hours”  p. 6, Complete Poemsdownload

²”Inventory” p 44, Complete Poems

One thought on “Help Me, Dorothy Parker.

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