My Seven Favorite Ogden Nash Poems

July 23, 2008

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) was an American poet known for his humorous poems. Many poems are short, many long, but common to all is Nash’ quirky humour, keen observations on life, misspelt rhyming words which are sure to draw chuckles and laughs. Ogden Nash of the “Candy is Dandy but liquor is quicker” fame.

 

A critic, Morris Bishop, said the following on Ogden Nash style:

 

Free from flashiness, free from trashiness

Is the essence of ogdenashiness.

Rich, original, rash and rational

Stands the monument ogdenational!

 

Many an evening I have spent reading and rereading poems of Ogden Nash. They have never failed to make me laugh.

 

Selecting the favorite 7 of Ogden Nash is a rather foolish task I set myself, a number like 70 would have been preferable. Anyway, here is my list. The source is my treasured copy of “Candy is Dandy” The Best of Ogden Nash (Mandarin Paperbacks, 1993). This has a most delightful introduction by Anthony Burgess and has been edited by Linell Smith and Isabel Eberstadt.

 

1. Reflection on Babies 

A bit of talcum
Is always walcum. 

2. The Cow 

The cow is of bovine ilk; 
One end is moo, the other is milk. 

 

3. The Ant 

The ant has made himself illustrious 
Through constant industry industrious. 
So what? 
Would you be calm and placid, 
If you were full of formic acid? 

 

4. Biological Reflection 

A girl whose cheeks are covered with paint
Has an advantage with me over one whose ain’t. 

 

 

5. The Perfect Husband  

He tells you when you’ve got on 
too much lipstick 
And helps you with your girdle 
when your hips stick. 

 

6. The Lama

The one-l lama.

He’s a priest.

The two-l llama.

He’s a beast

And I will bet

A silk pajama

There isn’t any

Three-l llama.

 

7. The Cobra

This creature fills its mouth with venum

And walks upon its duodenum.

He who attempts to tease the cobra

Is soon a sadder he, and sobra.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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