Monday, December 31, 2007

Take Nash to Heart if you have Teenagers

This Australian student reminds parents of teens to take solace from the following Ogden Nash quote:

“Children aren’t happy with nothing to ignore, and that’s what parents were created for” – Ogden Nash

Sunday, December 30, 2007

“Duck! Here comes another year!”

Thanks to J.D. Rhodes of NC, for sharing the above quote from Ogden Nash as we prepare to put up the '08 calendar.

Enthralled about Nothing

Dmitry is inspired by Pretty Days by Ogden Nash. Read the full poem here

Another Nice Present of Ogden Nash

This man made a homemade DVD of Custard the Dragon and gave it to his family.

Ogden Nash Preferred over Jewelry for Christmas

Michelle of Kaysville, UT is very happy to get a book of Ogden Nash as opposed to jewelry for Christmas. Michelle's husband is a lucky man.

A Lesser Known Ogden Nash Christmas Poem

"Christmas Medication (PartII) is presented here by Peter Rohloff

God rest you merry, Innocents,
Let nothing you dismay,
Let nothing wound an eager heart
Upon this Christmas day.
Yours be the genial holly wreaths,
The stockings and the tree;
An aged world to you bequeaths
Its own forgotten glee.

Soon, soon enough come crueler gifts,
The anger and the tears;

Read the rest here

Speak Low as Jazz Classic

Bob Merkin of Massachusetts says that " The American comic poet Ogden Nash doesn't usually rise to the heights of Weill's other lyricists -- Brecht, Georg Kaiser, Ira Gershwin, Langston Hughes -- but "Speak Low" became an instant classic; every chanteusse and jazz great, piano or saxophone, has covered it for half a century, and as long as educated people keep falling in love and need a haunting love song in the background, "Speak Low" will keep being performed and recorded. Billie Holiday grabbed it immediately, as did her pal Sinatra."

Read the entire post plus the lyrics of Speak Low here. There is also reference to the clip from the Nash revival of "One Touch of Venus" on YouTube

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Because You All Know About Jabez Daws

Did Ogden Nash really write this? In addition to this blogster posting it recently, I did find it quoted in a 2002 US Coast Guard newsletter.

Because You All Know About Jabez Daws


Once there was an antelope

Who said, "I’ll write to Santa Clope."

"You mean, my son to Santa Claus,"

His mother told the antelaus.

"I know, but Mom it never rhymes –

I’ve tried it half a dozen times!"

And so he wrote: "Dear Santa Climes,

Do you have skate for antelimes?"

"My son, see here, this will not do,"

His mother told the anteloo.

"It’s Santa Claus! Now try again."

And so he wrote: "Dear Santa Clen,

I’d like some skates, I’d like a sled. . ."

Read the rest of the poem here

Did you Know

That Ogden Nash co-wrote the screenplay to the The Shining Hour? (Borzage, 1938) - BW-77 mins. - Joan Crawford, Melvyn Douglas, and Margaret Sullavan star, with support from Robert Young and Hattie McDaniel.

Bleak Future for this Poet in Training?

He describes Ogden Nash as 'doggerel on purpose.' Crude and a bit harsh perhaps, but I get the point.

This Just In....

Gossip blog LBN claims that Clare Danes was spotted at NY used book store searching for Ogden Nash titles. We are awaiting substantiation of this hot scoop and will post when confirmed.

If You Like Nash Read to You

Then you will like this YouTuber. He recites a complementary mix of Dorothy Parker and Ogden Nash here . Including this Parker poem one about the messy side of suicide. Nash and Parker excelled at making fun of the dark:


Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp...(Excerpt)
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

The Politically Correct Way to Say Merry Christmas to a Crowd

Not sure of the source. But if Ogden Nash did say this, he was , as usual, concisely on target...

“Merry Christmas to nearly everybody!” - Ogden Nash

Quoted here

Hating is an Art

I'm alarmed that this poem is the only post on this person's blog! However , it is great O.N.

Love and Hate

But hate is the verb that to me is superb,
And Love but a drug on the mart.
Any kiddie in school can love like a fool,
But Hating, my boy, is an Art.
-- Ogden Nash

Read the whole poem here

Winter Morning Poem

Winter Morning Poem

Ogden Nash

Winter is the king of showmen
Turning tree stumps into snow men
And houses into birthday cakes
And spreading sugar over lakes

Read the rest here

Christmas as the Antidote for War

Nash wrote that "People can’t concentrate properly on blowing other people to pieces if their minds are poisoned by thoughts suitable to the twenty-fifth of December." ~Ogden Nash

Thanks to The Sailors Family for digging this one up.

Ogden Nash is Remembered in Mumbai

Whilst in the dentist chair.

Mr. Nash Relished the Outrageous Rhyme

“Is there just one Sitwell? No, there are Sacheverell.” In a post about the author Sitwell here
—Ogden Nash

Ogden Nash Crafted a Cautionary Tale for Santa Disbelievers

O.N. thought that believing in Santa Claus was a very good thing. The story of Jabez Dawes of Baltimore.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Celery, Senility, Family Wisdom, Church, Ants & Fleas

Ogden Nash's topics were atypical for poetry.

A you can read in the last line of Senility and Family Court, he did not hesitate to express an occasional hard edge. An editor, especially of a major publication like the New Yorker, needed to brutally honest with writers and himself.

The Voice of Experience

In the old days people attended lectures for fun. Ogden Nash's poem, The Voice of Experience

A husband at a lecture
Twitches his architecture.

He undergoes the lecturing
Like unanesthetized vivisecturing.

He's a glassy-eyed conjecturer
Of the ancestry of the lecturer.

Read the rest here

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

For those Facing 40

Lines on Facing Forty

I have a bone to pick with fate,
Come here and tell me girly,
Do you think my mind is maturing late,
Or simply rotting early.

Ogden Nash Quoted here

Ogden Nash Explains Why

Classic Nash verse quoted here

Some primal termite knocked on wood;
and tasted it, and found it good.
That is why your Cousin May
fell through the parlor floor today."

Arkansas Man Uninterested in All Poets Except Ogden Nash Stink

The Old Man and the c:\ states that, beyond Ogden Nash, he's had precious little interest in poetry.

Another example of Nash being able to inspire someone disinterested in 'poetry'.

Ogden Nash Met Many People

"Middle age is when you've met so many people that every new person you meet reminds you of someone else."Ogden Nash

Quoted on this blog

Monday, December 17, 2007

Ogden Nash loved Christmas

He'd be happy to learn that so many towns are including him in their celebrations:

The Chequamegon Symphony will perform a children's concert at Northland College interspersed with his poems. Read more here about this Harvard, WI event.

And that he will also be reprised at the Garfield Sr. High Christmas show in Woodbridge, VA.

Not to mention the Santa Clarita, CA Symphony's production of 'Animals Alive!' where once again, Ogden Nash verse will be the poetic interlude between each act.

What is behind the national trend of Nash at Christmas? Here is one potential explanation in this story about Nash being interwoven in an Illinois production of the 'Carnival of the Animals':

The "Carnival of the Animals," composed by Camille Saint Saens, is a single work, broken down into 14 smaller segments. Each segment was combined with amusing poetry by Ogden Nash and read by Mark Lebovitz of Media Relations.

"I sometimes go to dance concerts, and occasionally I don't exactly know what might be going on, but the fact that there's the music, which suggests certain animals, and then the poetry, which gives the audience an idea," Lebovitz, said. "It creates one big, enjoyable, understandable package."

Each segment is named after animals (or animalistic concepts), the music reminiscent of animal calls or their environments. The poems set a suitably lighthearted mood and keep the energy up from piece to piece.

In Creighton, OR, 200 year old 'Carnival' is also being presented with Nash.

Creighton is preparing the CYS for its 25th Anniversary Concert, to be held at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, on the stage at the LaSells Stewart Center. As part of the concert, Mayor Charlie Tomlinson will be reading poetry written by Frederic Ogden Nash in the 1940s to accompany Camille Saint-Saens’ “Carnival of the Animals,” written roughly 160 years before.

More detail here

ON's verse was also reprised at a Palm City, FL children's Christmas Show

And in Boulder, CO, High School show

And in Hertfordshire, England they believe 'The Boy who Laughed at Santa Claus' is apropos

Nash's Carol for Children

Thanks to Rebecca Irwin for posting this fine poem.

A Carol for Children

Ogden Nash

God rest you merry, Innocents,
Let nothing you dismay,
Let nothing wound an eager heart
Upon this Christmas day.

Yours be the genial holly wreaths,
The stockings and the tree;
An aged world to you bequeaths
Its own forgotten glee.

Read the rest here

Channeling Ogden Nash at Christmas

This radio host was moved to share Christmas Hash on his blog.

Christmas Hash

By Ogden Nash

My fingers ache from lugging parcels, I limp on battered matatarsals,
My tongue is dry from licking stamps, I’m lost in Christmas lights and amps,
I’m in that yearly Yuletide mess,
And so are you, I shrewdly guess...

Read the rest here

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Doctor Prescribes Nash for Happy Marraige

Eva Bell, M.D. advises that "Ogden Nash sums up the secret of a happy marriage in verse:

If you want your marriage to sizzle,
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you're wrong admit it,
Whenever you're right shut up."

Full article Fidelity in Marriage

Another Quote from the versifier on Marriage: "Marriage is the alliance of two people, one of whom never remembers birthdays and the other who never forgets."

Solace on Snow

This week's wintery blast has inspired Norman from Minnnesota to share Nash's observations about life in the cold.

A Word About Winter
Now the frost is on the pane,
Rugs upon the floor again,
Now the screens are in the cellar,
Now the student cons the speller,
Lengthy summer noon is gone.
Read the rest here

Sunday, December 2, 2007

That Ogden Nash was a Family Man

Is not in dispute. Read Linnell Nash's "Loving Letters from Ogden Nash". He also shared his Rugby Road, Baltimore home with his in-laws for over a decade. We know what he thought of children's parties that ran too long. Hopefully you won't feel that way about this three minute and four second YouTube rendition of A Children's Party.

Nash Sticks to One's Brain

Acclaimed Sports Illustrated writer Steve Rushin recalls a few choice Nash bites by heart.

That First, Chance Encounter

Nash launched his legend by retrieving Spring Comes to Murray Hill from the wastebasket and sending it to The New Yorker.

In 1970 Ogden Nash was 68 and summering in Little Boars Head Island, NH. About 100 miles away I was an 11 year old camper at St. George's Hockey School in Middletown, RI. The summer dean, Mr. Baldwin, was a Nashophile and fond of sharing Nashisms with me. O.N. had attended St. George's and taught there too, so Mr. Baldwin certainly felt perpetuating Ogden's verse was within his mandate, even if the motley group of adolescent hockey campers were more prone to reading Street Rod magazine and the Sporting News than poetry. He found a willing ear in me as the 4 weeks of two a day sessions, led by the Cornell U. coach, droned on through August. I was open to poetry, as long as it was fun, as demonstrated by my having memorized and recited 'Casey at the Bat' aloud that spring in 6th grade for my ony 'A' of the year. Anyway, I stumbled upon Ogden Nash at a Nash historic site, while playing hockey in the refrigerated barn of St. Georges set above First Beach in summer. Which is an incongruous set of circumstances but one I'm very happy to have had.

Ogden is Missing from the Library

Another example of Ogden Nash as personal muse and touchstone. ON brings out the better angels of our nature, as Lincoln said in his inaugural address. Even when stolen. While "Listen..." led Olivia the Geek to commit a crime of passion as a teenager, she has confessed and surely is forgiven.

Less forgivable is the act of philistines in unmarked vans stealing ancient rocks from the stone walls in Ogden Nash's former summer town of North Hampton, NH.

The Thread Proves the Post

O. Nash's views on points of view and relationships are still timely in the age of e-communication as illustrated in this thread on the National Book Critics Circle Board of Directors Blog.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Ogden Nash Audio

UBUweb has circa 1960 recordings of Nash reading his poems, accompanied by custom composed background music, on their site .

On the BBC site they have recorded excerpts from a Halloween, 1964 recording of their interview with Ogden Nash at the links below:

BBC Recording, You and Me and P.B. Shelley by Ogden Nash

The influence of James Joyce, picking and stealing and rhyming techniques 2 min 0

Women 2 min 7

Other people's descriptions of him 1 min 25

Ogden Nash's Custard Inspired Puff

Here's a recent live video of Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary singing Puff the Magic Dragon - (Yes, we truly do scan the globe for these breaking Nash related links)

from wikipedia:
"Puff, the Magic Dragon" is a song written by Leonard Lipton and Peter Yarrow and made popular by the group Peter, Paul and Mary in a 1963 recording.

The lyrics for "Puff" were based on a 1959 poem by Leonard Lipton, a nineteen-year-old Cornell student. Lipton was inspired by an Ogden Nash poem titled "Custard the Dragon," about a "Really-O, Truly-O, little pet dragon." Lipton passed his poem on to friend and fellow Cornell student Peter Yarrow, who created music and more lyrics to make the poem into the song. In 1961, Yarrow joined Paul Stookey and Mary Travers to form Peter, Paul and Mary. The group incorporated the song into their live performances before recording it in 1962.

The lyrics tell a bittersweet story of the ageless dragon Puff and his playmate Jackie Paper, a little boy who grows up and loses interest in the imaginary adventures of childhood and leaves Puff alone and depressed. The story of the song takes place "by the sea" in the fantasy land of Honalei (also the name of a real beach in Hawaii).
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called honah lee,
Little jackie paper loved that rascal puff,
And brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff. oh

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called honah lee,
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called honah lee.

Together they would travel on a boat with billowed sail
Jackie kept a lookout perched on puffs gigantic tail,
Noble kings and princes would bow wheneer they came,
Pirate ships would lower their flag when puff roared out his name. oh!

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called honah lee,
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called honah lee.

A dragon lives forever but not so little boys
Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys.
One grey night it happened, jackie paper came no more
And puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.

His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain,
Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane.
Without his life-long friend, puff could not be brave,
So puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave. oh!

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called honah lee,
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called honah lee.

Ogden Nash's Biography


Ogden's Observations on Conscience and Happiness

Ben Tanosborn in his political blog "Media with Conscience"

As much as I've always enjoyed Ogden Nash, the poet, I must confess that many of his writings have impacted me as if coming from the wisdom of a philosopher rather than the wit of an accomplished light verse mechanic.

And, among his many vignettes, there is one that seems to have stayed inscribed on my head, as if sentry in eternal vigilance."There is only one way to achieve happiness on this terrestrial ball," says Nash, "and that is to have either a clear conscience or none at all."

Ogden Nash loved Animals

E!online Review of Animal Magnetism

"The lush, well-designed book, which features secret gatefolds and fun cutouts, includes selections by Ogden Nash, Theodore Roethke and others... but that's not why we're thrilled with this book. We just think it's gorgeous, and we're pretty sure you'll think so, too."

Ogden Part of Lancaster PA, Holiday Celebration

The third production this year is "A Storybook Christmas," during which the audience gets to sing favorite Christmas carols and actors retell Ogden Nash's "The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus" and "A Visit from St. Nicholas" by Clement C. Moore.

Nash part of Lews County, Washington Holiday Celebration

The performance will be accompanied by a child narrator reading Ogden Nash’s “A Salute to Feathers, Furs and Fins” and Mimes and More mime company portraying the animals in the piece.

Following the Dec. 3 performance, there will be a “petting zoo” where children in attendance can come up on stage and meet the performers and see their instruments up close.

Custard the Dragon is one of the All Time Greats

NY Times 'Freakonomics' Blogger Stephen Dubner says about this Ogden Nash work that anyone who rhymes “Belinda” with “window” and “gyrate” with “pirate” gets points in his book.

A Present For Your Smart A.. Friend

Chicago guide writer John Freeman thinks 'The Best of Ogden Nash' by Ivan Dee shows how no-one, even today's hipsters could dish it out like ON.

Platypus - Sans Platitudes

Jocelyn Rice is a Brooklyn based science writer who opens her story on the platypus with Ogden Nash's ode, The Duck billed Platypus.

Ogden's Legacy in North India

Kshitij has a name Ogden Nash would have a rhyming good time with. He is 21 and lives in Ajmer, India. The only poem he can recall from his schooling was The Muddlehead which he learned in 6th grade. He was very pleased to discover it's text on line and he still cherishes it.

ON Retirement

" If you don't want to work you have to work to earn enough money so that you won't have to work."
— Ogden Nash

Thanks to The Retirement Quotes Cafe

How O.N. Continues to Inspire a Home Schooled Son

The Adventures of Isabel is Jamie's favorite poem.
Isabel met an enormous bear,
Isabel, Isabel, didn't care;... Click-thru for the rest of this Ogden Nash gem.

"But where there's a monster, there's a miracle." - Ogden Nash, Dragons Are Too Seldom

Courtesy of Ryan

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Ogden Nash Quoted in Bangalore Press

Humourous story from Deccan Herald about a business trip turned into a journey

Under a Scotsmans kilt

"If you see a panther, don't anther," I quoted Ogden Nash. Omi complained that I wasn't taking the expedition seriously, so I closed my eyes and fell asleep ...
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