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One Perfect Rose

One Perfect Rose


by Dorothy Parker

Stanza 3 Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

Lines 9-10

Why is it no one ever sent me yet
One perfect limousine, do you suppose?

  • Uh-oh. It seems like the rose is suddenly not doing it for our speaker. She seems frustrated and asks why nobody has ever sent her a perfect limousine. Like this bad boy.
  • Does she ask this question because she's materialistic? Is she tired of that 1920s clunker that always breaks down?
  • There is some materialism going on here, to be sure. But it also seems like the limousine is just a placeholder for something else.
  • The speaker seems tired of love's clichéd gifts, and wants something new. She's essentially saying, "People in love always send flowers. Why can't they send something else, like a perfect limo?"
  • Note to whom she's asking the question here. The phrase "do you suppose?" is directed right to us, the reader. As a result, a conversational tone emerges in the poem. We feel like the speaker is talking to us face to face.

Lines 11-12

Ah no, it's always just my luck to get
One perfect rose.

  • The speaker continues to seem pretty upset. 
  • That "Ah no" strikes a note of serious disappointment. It's almost like "Ah no I've lost my keys!" or something like that.
  • Note again the conversational tone. "Ah no" is something you'd say directly to someone, rather than write in a formal poem.
  • She bemoans the fact that it's always "just [her] luck" to get one perfect rose. 
  • She wants something new that will surprise her. And can you blame her? There's nothing exciting about getting the same perfect rose every time you're in love, is there?
  • Note that this stanza has the same rhythm and rhyme scheme of the previous two. Check out "Form and Meter" for more on that. It also has the same refrain
  • Well, this certainly isn't your typical flowery love poem now is it? Doesn't seem to be.

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