17 October 2013

Poetry Thursday - short poems by Ogden Nash

Song of the Open Road 

 I think that I shall never see
 A billboard as lovely as a tree.
 Perhaps unless the billboards fall,
 I'll never see a tree at all.

Reflection on the Fallibility of Nemesis 

 He who is ridden by a conscience
 Worries about a lot of nonscience;
 He without benefit of scruples
 His fun and income soon quadruples.

(from ogdennash.org; much more is available via other sites too, eg here and here)

The satirical "light verse" of Ogden Nash (1902-1971) often hits the spot - I'm particularly fond of the misspellings. Take these "fables on human foibles" little and often, though - too much at once is overwhelming.

Nash came from a distinguished family - Nashville, Tennessee, was named after one of his forbearers. A Harvard dropout, he worked on Wall Street and as a schoolteacher before becoming a copywriter. His first collection of poems was published in 1931 and was a tremendous success - so he quit is job in the marketing department of publishers Doubleday, and got married. He considered himself a "worsifier", making poems with an anti-establishment quality. He appeared regularly on radio and tv, and drew huge audiences for his readings and lectures.

1 comment:

Linda Laird said...

One of my favorite couplets by Ogden Nash is, "If ever you are called to by a panther,
Don't anther!"