"The False Friends" by Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker wrote "The False Friends" in 1926. This poem is split into four different stanzas with four lines each. It is written with alternating 8 syllable and 6 syllable lines. This poem is about friends that aren't really your friends and the rhyme scheme of the poem is a bab, c dcd, efe f, g hgh.
The theme of this poem is a friend that you think is your friend, but in reality, this friend isn't always there for you when you need someone. Then the speaker uses irony to present her own cynical nature.
Friendship is something that we all need because it keeps us from feeling lonely. The poem is written from the author's point of view and she must have felt betrayed when she wrote the poem. The use of the first person enables the author to express her feelings directly from the poem. The first two stanzas of the poem show the narrator believing that her friends would always be there for her. The line "And time could heal a hurt, they said" shows the speaker believing her friends could heal her wounds. "And time could dim a vow," shows how her friends promised her that everything would be fine and she believed them.
This can be interpreted as the speaker looking for support because something bad had happened in her life. These two stanzas build up the suspense while the last two stanzas answer it. The speaker discovers that her friends had lied to her, but she also realizes that she doesn't really need them. Although it took her an extra month, she still felt better, without her friends's up port. This shows the narrator's cynical nature as she says in these lines: "For June was nearly spent away before my heart was whole," that she felt better without her friends. This poem presents a somber mood throughout because of the sadness in the speaker's life, but then this mood turns to one of irony and sarcasm as the speaker makes jokes about her friends.
A main subject of the poem is time and how many believe that time can heal all wounds. Personification is used with time because time is an intangible object and it can't literally "hear a hurt" or "dim a vow." The speaker of the poem hopes that "time" will be able to heal her wounds like her friends said and it did, but the irony of this is that she didn't need her friends to feel better. The last two stanzas of the poem are where the speaker tells that she is able to heal her wounds without her friends. Her friends weren't there for her when she needed them, so she decides to be alone and this is just fine for her. The line "to come to me with lies" is where the speaker expresses her anger at her "false friends." The most powerful words in this poem are "time" and "lies." We usually don't associate our good friends with "lies," but the speaker feels that her friends lied to her and is angry. Her cynical attitude shows itself as she jokes around about "friendship" and that she is much better than her friends because she can help herself.
The change in the mood happens in between the second and third stanzas when the speaker changes from a person that has a lot of confidence in her friends to a person that is angry with them and feels confident without them. It is as if she loses her hope right there and the poem changes from a friendly and somber voice to an angry one. Friendship is an element that everyone needs and the speaker of this poem tells of this importance through a bad experience with some of her own.