Enough Rope is Dorothy Parker’s debut poetry collection and is vastly centred around “the pretensions of everyday life and clichéd relations between men and women”. Essentially, it embodies a very specific kind of humour and views that back then, in the early 1920s, were fairly controversial. Focusing mostly on power dynamics and gender roles, Dorothy Parker’s volume raises awareness on social issues through what critics considered to be light verse, an approach for which she was underappreciated. The book was sent to me by Libris and can be found here.
Parker’s poems are heavily influenced by personal experiences and tell stories of failed relationships, abuse and brief episodes of happiness that ultimately end tragically. For this particular reason, most poems tend to have a certain repetitiveness to them, throughout the collection the ideas of heartbreak and disgust towards men become so omnipresent that one cannot help but notice that many poems seem identical, with little distinctive touches here and there. Regardless, all of them are indicative of Parker’s outstanding talent when it comes down to writing candid poetry. She writes freely of her tragedies and emotions, and she does it in such a manner that she shines through as cynical, witty and even impenitent, which are features often associated with strong female voices in literature. Her feminist views are obvious and are poignantly transposed in every poem, both breaking societal norms and breaking free from male oppression are recurring themes.
Enough Rope, while its importance in the context of the early 20th century’s American poetry is undeniable, felt repetitive; however, each poem had a clear message Dorothy Parker managed to transpose through the easy-going writing style, the “flapper” verse. I became acquainted with her poetry back in university, during my American poetry class, but as our reading list was quite crowded, I couldn’t devote as much time to her poetry as I would’ve wanted to. However, I knew there would come a time for this poetry collection – and I certainly am glad for having read it.
Title: Enough Rope
Author: Dorothy Parker
Publication Date: 2022
Publisher: Dover Publications
Format: Paperback|112 pages