There was a rose that faded young;
I saw its shattered beauty hung
Upon a broken stem.
I heard them say, “What need to care
With roses budding everywhere?”
I did not answer them.

There was a bird, brought down to die;
They said, “A hundred fill the sky-
What reason to be sad?”
There was a girl, whose lover fled;
I did not wait, the while they said,
“There’s many another lad.”

Analysis, meaning and summary of Dorothy Parker's poem Solace


  1. dory says:

    Very personal, indeed. The irony of it all.
    Unless the words can be truly felt, you can’t
    imagine the emotions, individually speaking, of course!

  2. Lily says:

    why is it that we need to complicate matters – are we not just reading one womans heart felt ideas about how we value “things”, be that a flower or another person or ourselves.

  3. tamera long says:

    I really like the poem because it relates to my life.

  4. Nicole says:

    first off, it’s an open forum, part of the american values system is freedom of speech. I don’t agree with everything that everyone said on here, but they have a right to their own opinions (as skewed as they may be). My feeling on this poem is ironic truth. The irony is we like to think we are a constant evolving society. Yet over 40 years ago a poem was written (supposedly during the more enriching and traditional times of the country) and it’s still a ringing bell of truth now. All too often we show great disregard for those around us. Whether it be nature or man. As humans we tend to be pretty self involved and careless. I think that is what D. Parker is trying to say.

  5. Susan Lewis says:

    I like this poem. I believe it is a commentary on the cynicism DP sensed in our throw-away culture; that everything , even those we might come to love are somehow interchangeable because there are “other fish in the sea”…it is so sad that this seems to be true still and especially today.

  6. kelley nagel says:

    Her poem shows even though she wrote the poems in the past, it is still true today. I think it’s funny!

  7. Carrie says:

    I’m not sure of the importance of sharing where I was born. Do I experience Parker’s poetry differently because I was born here in the US? I find that doubtful.

    To me this poem speaks about the relative nature of loss and pain to the person who is experiencing it. It shows that flippant attitudes take away from the value of what occurs. Just because something like death or love is commonplace, doesn’t make the experience ununique to the individual experiencing it.

  8. ChiChi says:

    This poem is beautiful. I have been through this and I can relate. I don’t care what anybody else thinks only how I feel … and that’s how it is.

  9. zaaz says:

    what is the theme of this poem it is a good poem though.

  10. Emily says:

    I think the previous comments are pretty awful (do they not teach spelling in Canada?). Parker was a woman with an attitude. Her poems are concise, her language searing, forcing her readers to sit up and pay attention. To be honest, I don’t think she would have cared what any of us thought – that is the beauty of her poetry, we can make of it whatever it means to our own lives. I believe this is telling in the constant use, here and throughout her poetry, of ‘them’ and ‘I’. She saw herself as being understood by no-one but I think, privately, she quite liked that.

    Of course, I could be completely wrong, maybe Parker would tell me to stop overanalysing, however, like her….I don’t care! Her poems mean to me what they mean to me. I would advise you all to think the same.

  11. Lauren says:

    I think it’s a great poem. It’s short and simple. I do think that people can post there opinion on here even if they are a politic freak. i hate politics, people who love them are usually boring.

  12. Melissa says:

    What does this poem show about society? I think that is shows that we have not changed to much in the years. Dorthy Parker saw almost 40 years ago that we as a society really don’t show our fellow man or woman much sympathy. This poem is wonderful! As is the writer, she was before her time.

  13. Kyrie says:

    This is a great poem, Dorothy Parker is a brilliant poet. I suggest that everyone should mind their own business, and if you don’t anything nice to say, don’t say it at all. Kudos, some of you individuals really have a knack for words, this has been the most intelligent reading I have come upon. (In case you haven’t noticed, sarcastically speaking of course)

  14. Adrian says:

    ok folks, I think there is something funny about your comments that shuold probably be brought up. “Get over yourselves… Its poetry, not polotics”. I think, and this is just speculation after having read the breif biography above. That this poem is about sacco and vansetti being hung and people not paying attention. Its definitly seems to be an allusion (right word?) towards hanging.

    As far as “American Bullocks” part is concerened. The hanging was pretty darn American. To protest against it was definitly seen as un-American. In todays political enviornment it seems like this Bullocks is not very American.


  15. kevin says:

    Is there any irony in this poem? Any humor? Granted dp’s work can be very depressing but there is usually a smirk hidden in there somewhere. Hey Norma:
    “Get over yourselves… Its poetry, not polotics. You don’t need to get so worked up over it” You do realize that by saying this you are being just like the folks DP is talking about in her poem, yes? People care what they care about.

  16. Norma says:

    Get over yourselves… Its poetry, not polotics. You don’t need to get so worked up over it.

  17. Simon Partridge says:

    Horribly true? It’s american bollocks. Oh dear me some people are dying… Bah

  18. Nina Swenk says:

    I had never heard of Dorthy Parker before until I began reading womens poetry before 1975. I find that she and I share the same ideas when it comes to this poem! People really do feel this way and it’s truly sad and disturbing! To think that the people of this country that we call “free and equal” honestly think this way in today’s society is mind numbing. I think that everyone should take a look at some of D.P.’s poetry, it’s a true awakening!

  19. Kelly says:

    The reason this is my favorite Dorothy Parker poem is because it is so horribly true, and that is what makes it relevant today. I think D.P’s poetry has become somewhat forgotten, even though it is some of the most important ( and funny ) poetry written in the 20th cent.

  20. Jeanie Kay says:

    What I love about this poem is that it is horribly true, and that is what makes it so relevant in our society today.

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