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Unit 53 – Poetry by Dorothy Parker

Difficulty: Medium/Hard

Time: 4 minutes 30 seconds

The following poems were written by Dorothy Parker and published in her Complete Poems anthology. Read both poems and answer the questions that follow.



And let her loves, when she is dead,
Write this above her bones:
“No more she lives to give us bread
Who asked her only stones.”



If it shine or if it rain,
Little will I care or know.
Days, like drops upon a pane,
Slip, and join, and go.

At my door’s another lad;
Here’s his flower in my hair.
If he see me pale and sad,
Will he see me fair?

I sit looking at the floor.
Little will I think or say
If he seek another door;
Even if he stay.


1. Which of the following epitaphs is the closest in sentiment to that expressed of the subject in Poem 1?

  • A      She died too young and was outlived by those who loved her
  • B      She was fond of baking
  • C      She was unloved and quickly forgotten
  • D      She gave to others what she could not give herself


2. In Poem 2, which of the following is closest in meaning to the line ‘If he seek another door;’

  • A      If he pursues a different romantic partner;
  • B      If he tries to get away or escape;
  • C      When he is no longer around;
  • D      While he thinks of someone else;


3. Which of the following is in no way communicated by the metaphor provided in lines 3 & 4 of Poem 2?

  • A      Days coalesce
  • B      Time appears to stand still
  • C      Difficulty determining when one moment ends and another begins
  • D      The ceaseless progression of time
  • Answers
    Q1 – D: “No more she lives to give us bread Who asked her only stones.” We only asked her for stones but she gave us bread. This is more than we asked for from the ‘sad lady’ who for some reason gave it anyway. D is not an explicit translation but is closer than ‘she died too young’, for which there is no evidence. ‘She was fond of baking’ would be taking the metaphor too literally. And the epitaph would be written by ‘her loves’ and there is nothing to say she wasn’t loved, although she was a ‘Sad Lady’ so perhaps did not receive from others the same love she offered to them.
    Q2 – A: “At my door’s another lad” is given early on as a metaphor for the new love that is courting the author so by extension of the metaphor if he was at another’s door he would be courting them.
    Q3 – B: “Days, like drops upon a pane, Slip, and join, and go.” Implies that the days are coalescing and passing together all at once” Raindrops on a window pane do anything but remain immobile.

    Gamsat Sample Questions

    October 21, 2019