They laid their hands upon my head,
They stroked my cheek and brow;
And time could heal a hurt, they said,
And time could dim a vow.

And they were pitiful and mild
Who whispered to me then,
“The heart that breaks in April, child,
Will mend in May again.”

Oh, many a mended heart they knew.
So old they were, and wise.
And little did they have to do
To come to me with lies!

Who flings me silly talk of May
Shall meet a bitter soul;
For June was nearly spent away
Before my heart was whole.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Dorothy Parker's poem The False Friends


  1. Pam says:

    I read this once and was smitten by it ever since.

  2. Jennie says:

    This is one of my favorite DP poems. I remember my first broken heart and that it took me a lot longer than I thought to get over it (actually I’m still quite bitter about that..grr).
    I think she’s not talking about actual friends so much as general cliche’s, like “time heals all wounds” etc. You feel betrayed when it turns out to be so much harder than you always thought and personally I felt like, damn it, someone should have warned me about love being so very shitty sometimes!

  3. Lauren says:

    The fact that it took more than one month is just to show how naive and immature the speaker is. I don’t believe it has anything to do with people underestimating your hurting.

  4. Chelae says:

    Two months is not the time it takes to end her grief. The fact that she takes one more month means that the pain takes longer then others give credit for. If you dont feel the same pain at the time you will belittle others and discount it as real as it holds no relevance to you. Two months is not an exact time its just a clever way of saying it takes longer.
    Dont you hate it when you dont feel well but others say “stop being silly you should.”

  5. wytia says:

    this poem is real nice becaues i see where you are caming from about your poems so if you need me just write me an e-mail because i am a poety myself

  6. Fauna says:

    I think this poem isn’t so much about “false friends” as it is a sardonic, slightly funny look at how she calls her friends liars merely because it took her an extra month to get over her last heartache.

  7. Jay Orin says:

    It is about people that downplay another’s pain, saying that “it will go away soon.” They think that they are being helpful by telling a person that, but that really doesn’t help a person when they are in pain.

  8. Frank Hernandez says:

    It’s a good poem cause it let you know people that you think are your friends are really not.

  9. rudy hernandez says:

    people you think are your freinds are really not.

  10. Rudy Hernandez says:

    people you think are your friends are really not

  11. jerry says:

    To me it seems she is talking of her childhood. The message to me people are telling her time will heal her grief over losses which she had so many of in childhood.Her rebuttal being she never really healed of her loss when her family died.

  12. Fili says:

    This is a great companion poem to “Autumn Valentine,” which essentially says that time heals a broken heart. This one claims that it takes longer than one might expect to heal a hurt, and the speaker (unjustly) blames her friends for being wrong. However, it’s taken me a lot longer than 2 months to get over a love. Parker heals quickly if you ask me!

  13. Ellie says:

    i knew what the poet meant. Every time i try to make friends, it happens to me. I trust them and they talk behind my back or lie to me. It hurts a lot.

  14. lauren says:


  15. LiFe says:

    I felt EVERY SINGLE word of this poem, and it means the world to me!!!

  16. Nina Swenk says:

    This poem holds a lot of meaning to me because this has happened to me a lot, unfortunatly! The idea and the meaning behind this is so true! I admire Mrs. Parker for the ability to write poetry that is so utterly true and meaningful for so many people in today’s society.

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