Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ogden Nash Anecdotes and Unpublished Poems

Do you have an Ogden Nash anecdote or unpublished Nash verse? The North Hampton Public Library is collecting stories about the versifier and his private poems for an upcoming exhibit. Susan Grant, the library's director, would welcome hearing what you have to share. Please call her at 603-964-6326 or send an e-mail.

Here are two recently submitted unpublished poems that Nash wrote for a Little Boars Head couple's anniversary and first grandchild:

Vernacular Lines For a Spectacular Occasion: A Belated Anniversicle

Let’s rise to toast divine Rebecca,
Matt’s own Episcopalian Mecca.
Small wonder, since at college, I’ll wager
She was a Matthewmatics major.
From top to toe, from lip to leg,
The Rector’s coddled like an egg;
Indeed at many a schoolboy session
He’s known as Mrs. Warren’s Profession.
This eulogy’s for his loving bride;
He gets to go just for the ride.

Many happy Matt’s Becky!
June 12, 1965

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Summering with Nash

With the leaves poised to turn, it's time to review Nashian notes from the summer of '09:

The "Pocket Book of Ogden Nash" was on Oprah's Summer Reading List. While "The Best of Ogden Nash " was recommended by La Voz, The Voice of De Anza College in Cupertino as " the most intentionally funny poetry you'll read all year."

Over the 4th of July weekend Wino Sapien recommended Isabel Sauvignon blanc 2008 to combat the confluence of Swine flu, children, work and wine. In the "Adventures of Isabel", Nash's daughter and poetic heroine " met a troublesome doctor...who really shocked her... yet ultimately Isabel took the pills from the concoctor and cured the doctor. Here's the full stanza on the alternative remedy:

He punched and he poked till he really shocked her.
The doctor's talk was of coughs and chills
And the doctor's satchel bulged with pills.
The doctor said unto Isabel,
Swallow this, it will make you well.
Isabel, Isabel, didn't worry,
Isabel didn't scream or scurry.
She took those pills from the pill concoctor,
And Isabel calmly cured the doctor.

Feeling better and shifting into cocktail hour, Readable Watchable Edible Potable a blog about
Food and Drink in Books and Film, presented a collection of Ogden Nash's " witty observations on sundry liqueurs" including these excerpts:

Mint Julep:

There is something about a mint julep.
It is nectar imbibed in a dream,
As fresh as the bud of the tulip,
As cool as the bed of the stream...


There is something they put in a highball
That awakens the torpidest brain,
That kindles a spark in the eyeball,
Gliding, singing through vein after vein...

The Old-Fashioned:

There is something about an old-fashioned
That kindles a cardiac glow;
It is soothing and soft and impassioned
As a lyric by Swinburne or Poe...

Full poems here.

One's passion for drink can sometimes runneth over as when Dorothy Parker wrote: "I'd Rather Have a Bottle in Front of Me Than a Frontal Lobotomy", a verse sometimes credited to Nash. However, Kari-Fuda on Flickr is not so inebriated as to attribute it properly.

On a more wholesome note, Nicole from Sydney was inspired to post Custard the Dragon for poetry month. Nicole then learned that it is also realio, trulio required reading for one of her younger readers during dessert.

Pun Intended: In their blog on travel tips Limerick Travel posted that "for every problem – adult or child, dental or mental, domesticated or wildlife, there is a Nash-ty solution."

Austin TX grad student 'Metal' used to devour Nash's books back in high school. He rediscovered Nash over the summer, finding Ogden Nash to be "the literary equivalent of having roasted peanuts between sips of beer" and " slices of humor between chunks of heavy reading" Metal is truly a voracious reader who may need a sandwich soon.

For the starving fiancee, looking for a distinctive summer wedding Credit Crunch Bride recommended Ogden Nash's 'My Dream' as an alternative wedding reading to "1 Corinthians Chapter 13 and other patronizing lectures on how to have a good marriage, that don’t mention that sickening word ‘joy’ too much."

This is my dream,
It is my own dream,
I dreamt it.
I dreamt that my hair was kempt.
Then I dreamt that my true love unkempt it.

First Comes Marriage: Iron Chef Cat Cora gave birth to her 4th child with her wife Jennifer. reports that Nash Cora is named for Ogden Nash and Nobel mathematician John Forbes Nash, (A Beautiful Mind). Sources confirm that he is specifically not named after jazz drummer Lewis Nash, NBA All-Star Steve Nash or CSNY legend Graham Nash.

Indian Summer Theater: The India Times reports that the play "When God Said Cheers" featuring a divine entity who quotes Ogden Nash, has been performed over 200 times in 7 years to appreciative Ahmedabadians. The 'cool' God takes "occasional sips from a pint of beer and nibbling on peanuts, has some very interesting things to say to the common man."

The versifier's works tend to be popular in the former english speaking dominions of PAX Brittanica.

Kentucky artist Ed Franklin launched his "A Doll A Day in June" adventure with a Nashian twist. Franklin posted the clue "811.52 N175b 2007 online. Sarabeth Brownrobie was the first to figure out that the caption was a Dewey Decimal System number. Franklin's doll was at the Lexington Public Library downtown — perched on a shelf in front of the book The Best of Ogden Nash.

During June graduation season in Jacksonville, Nash visited Scarlet at her old high school and gave her " A Word to Husbands" before her spouse turned on the light and told her to wake up.

Dinged Corners recreated "Lineup for Yesterday" with vintage images of Nash's baseball heroes.
'C' is for Cobb,
who grew spikes and not corn,
And made all the basemen
Wish they weren't born

From Ty to the Fly: A grandmother living in the Sierra Nevada's was being pestered by this winged devil until she smiled and remembered the first poem she ever learned was about this summer resident: "God in his wisdom made the fly / And then forgot to tell us why."

Machiavelli's Vacation Reading: American Thinker felt the anti-Democratic extremism of the summer was " ugly and unbecoming". He urged restraint, citing Nash as parable:

Pray, butcher, spare yon tender calf!
Accept my plea on his behalf;
He's but a babe, too young by far
To perish in the abattoir.
Oh, cruel butcher, let him feed
And gambol on the verdant mead;
Let clovertops and grassy banks
Fill out those childish ribs and flanks.
Then may we, at some future meal,
Pitch into beef, instead of veal.

For the record, Ogden Nash was a non-partisan political lampooner, who preferred to surgically take aim at unjust and hypocritical acts rather than take broadsides at Democrats or Republicans.
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