Poetry

Take My Vows

Dorothy Parker

Then take my vows and scatter them to sea;
Who swears the sweetest is no more than human,
And say no kindlier words than these of me:
“Ever she longed for peace, but was a woman;
And thus are they, whose silly female dust
Needs little enough to clutter it and bind it,
Who meet a slanted gaze, and ever must
Go build themselves a soul, to dwell behind it.”
For now I am my own again, my friend!
This scar but points the whiteness of my breast;
This frenzy, like its betters, spins on end—
And now am I my own, and that is best.
Therefore, I am immeasurably grateful
To you, for proving shallow, false, and hateful.

Dorothy Parker was an American poet, writer, and founder of the Algonquin Round Table. She died in 1967.
Originally published:
October 1, 1930

Featured

Essays

Race Off

The fantasy of race transformation
Namwali Serpell

Essays

Suicide in Fiction, Reconsidered

Why we need stories about living after a suicide attempt
Morgan Thomas

Conversations

Discipline and Abolish

Writing, power, and mass incarceration
Rachel Kushner,
Caleb Smith

You Might Also Like

Poetry

The Burning Heart

Louise Glück

Poetry

Mock Orange

Louise Glück

Poetry

In Those Years

Adrienne Rich

Newsletter

Sign up for The Yale Review newsletter and keep up with news, events, and more.