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.

From The Yale Review, Autumn 1930, issue 20.1.

Image: Hilm af Klint Evolution, No. 13, Group VI, 1908