Frederick Ogden Nash
August 17, is the birthday of the humorous poet Ogden Nash. He was born Frederick Ogden Nash in Rye, New York in 1902. No less than the New York Times wrote, "his droll verse with its unconventional rhymes made him the country's best known producer of humorous poetry." His first job was as a writer of street car ads. Perhaps that is where he practiced his brevity and wit. The humor is often unique and could be said to be "oft-kilter" with its rhyming devices and created spellings. He was also know for his surprising puns. Here is a sample:
The panther is like a leopard, except it hasn't been peppered
Should you behold a panther crouch, prepare to say Ouch.
Better yet if called by a panther, Don't anther
I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree
Indeed unless the billboards fall
I'll never see a tree at all
Ogden Nash also gave the world one line observation gems such as:
Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker
Happiness is having a scratch for every itch
He died on May 19, 1971; however, his wit and humor live on through his writings which you can find at CDPL (Check the catalog for Ogden Nash)
Nash, Ogden. Marriage Lines; Notes of a Student Husband. Boston: Little, Brown, 1964.
Nash, Ogden. Verses from 1929. Boston: Little, Brown, 1956.
Nash, Ogden. There's always Another Windmill. Boston: Little, Brown, 1968.
Smith, Linell Nash. Loving Letters from Ogden Nash: a Family Album. Boston: Little, Brown, 1990.