Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lost Nash Classic

Ogden Nash was born in Rye.
Is it any wonder that his Rhymes are so dry?

For example, a delightful lost* Nash poem on some women's preoccupation with the scale (o.k. make that all women):

Curl Up and Diet

Some ladies smoke too much and some ladies drink too much and some ladies pray too much,

But all ladies think that they weigh too much.

They may be as slender as a sylph or a dryad,

But just let them get on the scales and they embark on a doleful jeremiad;

No matter how low the figure the needle happens to touch,

They always claim it is at least five pounds too much;

No matter how underfed to you a lady’s anatomy seemeth,

She describes herself as Leviathan or Behemoth;

So then their goal would be to look like somebody’s fourteen-year-old

Brothers ghost, or rather not the ghost itself, which is fairly solid, but a silhouette of it,

So I think it is very nice for ladies to be lithe and lissome

But not so much so that you cut yourself if you happen to embrace or kissome.

Quintessential Ogden. From the dark humor laced title, to the timeless, humor coated, searing social commentary, to the whimsical closing rhyme.

Thanks to Dave Wood for his recent review of 'Secret Ingredients', a compilation of New Yorker food articles from the 30's, which highlights this work.

BTW, in the same vein, Nash once wrote: ''Everybody has the right to think whose food is the most gorgeous, and I nominate Georgia's."

* (Only 33 references web-wide according to Google - compared to over 90,000 for 'Candy is Dandy')

No comments:

Poetry Blog Directory