“The first thing I do in the morning … ”

Dorothy Parker, American writer, poet, and critic, was born on 22 August 1893.

She said The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue” (1), and her tongue was really like a razor blade: she became known for her wit and her sharp commentary on contemporary America.

As a poet, she published some 300 poems and free verses in various magazines. Her poetry is marked by cleverness but also by the deep depression that plagued her.

Here are two of them:


Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.


Some men break your heart in two,
Some men fawn and flatter,
Some men never look at you;
And that cleans up the matter
. (3)

 🖊 🔪  🖊 🔪  🖊 🔪  🖊 🔪 🖊 🔪  🖊 🔪 🖊 🔪  🖊 🔪 🖊 🔪  🖊 🔪 🖊 🔪  🖊 🔪

(1) La prima cosa che faccio la mattina è lavarmi i denti e affilarmi la lingua.

(2) I rasoi fanno male;
I fiumi sono umidi;
l’acido lascia tracce;
le droghe causano crampi;
le armi sono illegali;
i cappi cedono;
il gas è nauseabondo
tanto vale vivere.

(3) Alcuni uomini ti spezzano il cuore,
altri uomini ti blandiscono e lusingano,
alcuni uomini non ti guardano nemmeno;
e questo risolve la questione.

32 thoughts on ““The first thing I do in the morning … ”

  1. La conosco mia madre aveva”Il mio mondo è qui: novelle” nella traduzione di Montale, era molto tagliente nei suoi giudizi proprio come se la sua lingua fosse una lama da affilare ogni giorno! Proprio bello questo post e ottima traduzione!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely poem by Dorothy Parker. She does not mince her words and says it straight. Life is hard, but might as well keep on living for the experiences. I like how she said first thing in the morning she brushes her teeth and gets ready to face the world. Sometimes you have to be tough out there.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Indeed, Mabel.
      I am pleased that you liked this post. I think her words are really interesting and witty.
      Also, I would like to thank you for the kindness of your visit and for taking the time to comment.


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