Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ogden Nash 's Dogs

In his twenties, Ogden Nash was a restless advertising copywriter who eventually struck out on his own. Yet his craft continued to display a knack for penning phrases that resonated and became part of the American lexicon.

"A dog is man's best friend" is one that continues to resonate. Nash's views on dogs have had a long lasting impact on others.

According to WTHR, Indianapolis, Ogden Nash was the first to characterize a dog as "man's best friend." It is in fact the first line of "An Introduction to Dogs". Annie Hillard, the Solitary Walker, shares her story of long term affinity with this poem in a recent post. Liesel's Garden Party features a fine picture collage to accompany these verses.

Nash wrote a lot about dogs, I won't try to capture all the verses here, but here are some lesser known ones first published in the New Yorker:

January 08, 1949

For a Good Dog
My little dog ten years ago…

August 21, 1948

Two dogs have I
For years we've had a little dog…

September 19, 1942

Please pass the biscuit
I have a little dog…

October 22, 1949

Love me but Leave my Dog Alone
Once there was a handsome man named Mr. Beamington and he…

July 21, 1951

Roll Over And Play Alive Or, Who Says You Can't Teach An Old Dog Tiresome Old Tricks
Brooks are often called rippling, but rivers are really…

October 12, 1957

Fellow-Creatures, Tray and Outre
The truth I do not stretch or shove…

Ogden Nash poems copyright © by Linell Nash Smith and Isabel Nash Eberstadt


Dean said...

What a wonderful BLOG! I think Ogden Nash is amazing. So much so that I wrote this poem for him back in 2005:

To the Great Odgen Nash
or I Can’t Believe He Gets Away With It

by Dean E. Wood (2005)

Raise your glass, sing a song, strike the band, come along,
Join the fun while we all throw a bash
For the one we all love, with his gift from above,
For the poet, the great Ogden Nash!

I oft read his verses, his words full of wit,
His collections are hard to put down.
America’s son, the bard of our time,
How did he achieve such renown?

I am sometimes confused, if not fully amused
At how deftly he ties up each line.
Undaunted, when the words just don’t come to mind,
Why, he simply makes up a rhyme!

Delicious, fictitious, and so serendipitous,
How does he keep a straight face?
Congruitous, manipulatous, and oh so ingenuitous,
The right word in just the right place.

Now, I’m just a novice and not one to say
That the good Mr. Nash is a cheater.
But have you all noticed how often Ol’ Odgen
Strays just a bit from the meter?

And just when you think that there isn’t a chance
That the point he would make will break through,
He lengthens things out, or cuts it right short
To make sure that its clear and that you get the point of what he is saying so there is no way you could misunderstand where he was taking you.

He’s a master, I tell ya, of spinning a yarn about
things that go “bump” in the night.
He thinks the way I do, and writes the way I would
If only I only could write!

Thanks for all your effort! Keep up the good work!


John said...

Dean, Thanks for sharing this thoughtful and funny tribute to Nash's gift of rhyme and the supportive words...Cheers!

Cremation burial urns said...

I am glad to know that Ogden Nash is the first one who considered and said the "Dogs are man's best friend"..

Anonymous said...

I feel ya with the exhaustion although I wish mine was because of partying! I really like the yellow and blue combination in this top, it looks amazing on your hair and skin tones :)

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed read this. Thanks a lot

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