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One Perfect Rose Poem

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 554
  • Category: Poems

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In her poem “One Perfect Rose” Dorthy Parker questions the actions of a man from her past and misleads the reader into believing this poem is a romantic tribute to a tender moment. Although this verse comes to us in a lighthearted, comedic style, the reader eventually wonders if Ms. Parker feels blessed or forsaken.

Ms. Parker misleads the reader in the first and second stanzas into believing the romantic with word choices like “tenderly”, “pure”, and “perfect” to describe the rose and its sender directly influencing the readers initial reaction to the poem; as well as he way she writes the poem. Written ABAB format with four lines to each stanza and every other line rhyming, they are short, sweet, and melodic.

The musical quality helps draw the reader into believing the poems purpose is a romantic recollection. The tense of the entire poem changes dramatically when reading the third stanza; where Ms. Parker allows the reader to grasp the real intentions of the poem, a cynical and bewildered recollection of the memory. It is with the shift of the tone that the reader understands the meaning of the poem, not sweet but sarcastic and perhaps bitter instead.

In reading the poem a second time, with the knowledge of its bitter notions, the reader sees what is purposely hidden but directly affects the overall tone. Ms. Parker mentions first the gentleman has one sent “a single flow’r” (line 1 first stanza) and emphasizes that with the line “one single rose” (line 4). This is a repetition that at first seems as if Ms. Parker is noting the delicacy of the flower but in reading the last stanza there is the realization that she is pouting that she has only received one flower – that’s all. Although there is a melodic quality to this poem, the rhythm stresses the abruptness of her speech. She speaks in short fragmented sentences, as if she couldn’t be bothered to spend much time on the poem.

The second stanza is familiar to the first in content and Parker uses the words “fragile”, “heart”, and “love” to deceive the reader. There are of course the words that the reader misses the first time. “Floweret” is a good example. Parker cunningly uses this to show the fact that this is one, but because it rhymes with amulet, the mocking tone goes unnoticed.

In the third and final stanza, Parker shows the reader her true intention for this poem. Written in the same four line, ABAB format; she shows her feelings clearly – that she did not want one single rose, she wanted more “one perfect limousine” (line 10). Parker is informing the reader what she wanted and mocking what she did receive. In doing so, Parker is saying that if the gentleman was going to make the effort, he should have made it for something worth her time.

This poem is deceptively worded yet simple. Dorothy Parker is trying to achieve some shock to the reader and she succeeds. Parker has created a false sense of romanticism initially so when she does reveal the true persona of the poem, the reader will get it immediately. Had she droned on cynically the reader would have lost interest, but instead she sneaks up in the reader with her real feelings and makes the reader understanding of the poem

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