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One Perfect Rose

One Perfect Rose

by Dorothy Parker

Analysis: What's Up With the Title?

One. Perfect. Rose. The title suggests a few different things. We all know that roses and love go together like butter and toast, so from reading this title we might think that it's safe bet that this little poem will probably have something to do with romantic love. It would also be fair to assume that this poem might be some kind of nature poem, a description of a perfect rose (wet, big red petals, perfect stem, that sort of them).

We hate to break it to you, but this poem doesn't really fit either of those categories. Sure, there's a description of a "deep-hearted" rose that is scented with wet dew, and sure the speaker talks about how people use roses to express their love, but this poem is really about… (get ready for this) how a perfect rose isn't so perfect.

The speaker isn't too happy about getting a rose, so even though the rose is perfect, it really isn't so perfect. There's something kind of boring about it. So, the title of the poem is a bit misleading. Our expectations about what "One Perfect Rose" should be about are not met, in the same way that the speaker's own desire that love be expressed differently than by a rose is also unfilled.

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