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by Dorothy Parker

Analysis: Sound Check

It's Sunday afternoon, some time in the middle of summer. You and your friends are sitting around in the backyard, trying to figure out what to do with the rest of the day. The movies cost too much and it's too big of a hassle to fill up water balloons. You could terrorize your little sister, but then you'd have to find her first. Even thinking about what to do requires tons of effort at this point, so you tend to talk in short sentences – maybe even in grunts.

That, folks, is how we imagine this poem sounds. It's a bit lazy, like someone casually crossing off items on a shopping list. There's nothing too complicated in the language, and even the rhyme scheme has a sing-songy quality to it. You can almost imagine the speaker staring at the ceiling, eating leftover take-out, and absent-mindedly checking off all of the ways that a person could kill herself.

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