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Ninon De Lenclos, On Her Last Birthday Analysis

Author: Poetry of Dorothy Parker Type: Poetry Views: 885

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Death and Taxes1931So let me have the rouge again,And comb my hair the curly way.

The poor young men, the dear young menThey'll all be here by noon today.And I shall wear the blue, I think-They beg to touch its rippled lace;

Or do they love me best in pink,So sweetly flattering the face?And are you sure my eyes are bright,And is it true my cheek is clear?

Young what's-his-name stayed half the night;He vows to cut his throat, poor dear!So bring my scarlet slippers, then,And fetch the powder-puff to me.

The dear young men, the poor young men-They think I'm only seventy!


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

The cadence of the poem is compelling, but the content leads one to think of a simple, empty-headed coquette, not one of great intellectual interest and depth. A combination of the coquette with sensual and intellectual interest, or at least with some other depth than trying to attract coquettishly may have been more accurate for a person of her stature. One could also add signs of her kindness. The poem seems to describe only one aspect of her to the exclusion of all others, which made up the more complex and deeper character that she was.

| Posted on 2009-12-28 | by a guest

.: :.

Nonsense! Marie Alouet, nicknamed Voltaire, wasn't Ninon's son! He was her secretary's son! We may well doubt of any lasting influence of an 83 year old lady upon a 9 year-old Voltaire...

| Posted on 2008-06-29 | by a guest

.: assonance :.

I particularly like the structure of the poem - the way assonance is used in a very clear way that i never could do - the inner rhyming. It's coquettish nature and tone is that of what we would imagine Ninon to be like.

| Posted on 2008-06-09 | by a guest

.: :.

To understand this poem, one must know of Ninon de Leclos, with whom Miss Parker strongly identified. She was a brilliant intellectual French "courtesan" who trained the sons of 17th century French nobility in the arts of love. She remained a glamourous "sex symbol" until her death at the age of 83. On her death bed she willed her books to her attorney, for use in educating his son, who grew up to be none other than Voltaire. He repaid Ninon by modeling the Old Woman in Candide after his famous patroness. Dorothy Parker's poem celebrates the willing deception of sexuality.

| Posted on 2005-08-18 | by Approved Guest

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