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Topic 41 of 52: Ogden Nash

Tue, Oct 12, 1999 (18:28) | Wolf (wolf)

38 responses total.

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 1 of 38: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Tue, Oct 12, 1999 (19:11) * 39 lines 
Thank you, Wolfie Dear!

A Watched Example Never Boils

The weather is so very mild
That some would call it warm.
Good gracious. aren't we lucky, child?
Here comes a thunderstorm.

The sky is now indelible ink,
The branches reft asunder;
But you and I we do not shrink;
We love the lovely thunder.

The garden is a raging sea,
The hurricane is snarling;
Oh, happy you and happy me!
Isn't the lightning darling?

Fear not the thunder, little one.
It's weather, simply weather;
It's friendly giants full of fun
Clapping their hands together.

I hope of lightning our supply
Will never be exhausted;
You know its lanterns in the sky
For angels who are losted.

We love the kindly wind and hail,
The jolly thunderbolt,
We watch in glee the fairy trail
Of ampere, watt, and volt.

Oh, than to enjoy a storm like this
There's nothing I would rather,
Don't dive between the blankets, Miss!
Or else leave room for Father.

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 2 of 38: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Tue, Oct 12, 1999 (19:16) * 33 lines 
A Lady Thinks She Is Thirty

Unwillingly Miranda wakes,
Feels the sun with terror,
One unwilling step she takes,
Shuddering to the mirror.

Miranda in Miranda's sight
Is old and gray and dirty;
Twenty-nine she was last night;
This morning she is thirty.

Shining like the morning star,
Like the twilight shining,
Haunted by a calendar,
Miranda sits a-pining.

Silly girl, silver girl,
Draw the mirror toward you;
Time who makes the years to whirl
Adorned as he adorned you.

Time is timelessness for you;
Calendars for the human;
What's a year, or thirty, to
Loveliness made woman?

Oh, Night will not see thirty again,
Yet soft her wing, Miranda;
Pick up your glass and tell me, then --
How old is Spring, Miranda?

Ogden Nash

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 3 of 38: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Tue, Oct 12, 1999 (22:50) * 50 lines 
Pretty Halcyon Days

How pleasant to sit on the beach,
On the beach, on the sand, in the sun,
With ocean galore within reach,
And nothing at all to be done!
No letters to answer,
No bills to be burned,
No work to be shirked,
No cash to be earned,
It is pleasant to sit on the beach
With nothing at all to be done!

How pleasant to look at the ocean,
Democratic and damp; indiscriminate;
It fills me with noble emotion
To think I am able to swim in it.
To lave in the wave,
Majestic and chilly,
Tomorrow I crave;
But today it is silly.
It is pleasant to look at the ocean;
Tomorrow, perhaps, I shall swim in it.

How pleasant to gaze at the sailors.
As their sailboats they manfully sail
With the vigor of vikings and whalers
In the days of the vikings and whale.
They sport on the brink
Of the shad and the shark;
If its windy they sink;
If it isn't, they park.
It is pleasant to gaze at the sailors,
To gaze without having to sail.

How pleasant the salt anesthetic
Of the air and the sand and the sun;
Leave the earth to the strong and athletic,
And the sea to adventure upon.
But the sun and the sand
No contractor can copy;
We lie in the land
Of the lotus and poppy;
We vegetate, calm and aesthetic,
On the beach, on the sand, in the sun.

Ogden Nash

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 4 of 38: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Tue, Oct 12, 1999 (22:51) * 41 lines 
Riding on a Railroad Train

Some people like to hitch and hike;
They are fond of highway travel;
Their nostrils toil through gas and oil,
They choke on dust and gravel.
Unless they stop for the traffic cop
Their road is a fine-or-jail road,
But wise old I go rocketing by;
I'm riding on the railroad.

I love to loll like a limp rag doll
In a peripatetic salon;
To think and think of a long cool drink
And cry to the porter, allons!
Now the clickety clack of wheel on track
Grows clickety clackety clicker:
The line is clear for the engineer
And it mounts to his head like liquor.
With a farewell scream of escaping steam
The boiler bows to the Diesel;
The iron horse has run its course
And we ride a chromium weasel;
We draw our power from the harnessed shower,
The lightning without the thunder,
But a train is a train and will so remain
While the rails glide glistening under.

Oh, some like trips in luxury ships,
And some in gasoline wagons,
And others swear by the upper air
And the wings of flying dragons.
Let each make haste to indulge his taste,
Be it beer, champagne or cider;
My private joy, both man and boy,
Is being a railroad rider.

Ogden Nash

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 5 of 38: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Tue, Oct 12, 1999 (22:52) * 1 lines 
This last one reminds me of the "Cremation of Sam McGee"

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 6 of 38: John Burnett  (mrchips) * Tue, Oct 12, 1999 (23:04) * 39 lines 
A Bas Ben Adhem ( My fellow man I do not care for )
by Ogden Nash

My fellow man I do not care for.
I often ask me, What's he there for?
The only answer I can find
Is, reproduction of his kind.
If I'm supposed to swallow that,
Winnetka is my habitat.
Isn't it time to carve Hic Jacet
Above that Reproduction racket?

To make the matter more succint:
Suppose my fellow man extinct.
Why, who would not approve the plan
Save possibly my fellow man?
Yet with a politician's voice
He names himself as Nature's choice.

The finest of the human race
Are bad in figure, worse in face.
Yet just because they have two legs
And come from storks instead of eggs
They count the spacious firmament
As something to be charged and sent.

Though man created cross-town traffic,
The Daily Mirror, News and Graphic,
The pastoral fight and fighting pastor,
And Queen Marie and Lady Astor,
He hails himself with drum and fife
And bullies lower forms of life.

Not that I think much depends
On how we treat our feathered friends,
Or hold the wrinkled elephant
A nobler creature than my aunt.
It's simply that I'm sure I can
Get on without my fellow man.

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 7 of 38: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Tue, Oct 12, 1999 (23:13) * 1 lines 
....and now there are over 6,000,000,000 of us...! How appropriate on this day.

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 8 of 38: John Burnett  (mrchips) * Tue, Oct 12, 1999 (23:14) * 1 lines 
I wasn't even thinking of that. But how right you are to remind us.

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 9 of 38: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Tue, Oct 12, 1999 (23:16) * 1 lines 
*smile* amazing how things occur to our subconscious mind which later seem to be serendipitous...but, were they really?! Thanks for the timely post of that poem

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 10 of 38: John Burnett  (mrchips) * Wed, Oct 13, 1999 (06:59) * 25 lines 
Mr. Artesians's Conscientiousness
by Ogden Nash

Once there was a man named Mr. Artesian and his activity was tremendous,
And he grudged every minute away from his desk because the importance of his work was so stupendous;

And he had one object all sublime,
Which was to save simply oodles of time.

He figured that sleeping eight hours a night meant that if he lived to be seventy-five he would have spent twenty-five years not at his desk but in bed,
So he cut his slumber to six hours which meant he only lost
eighteen years and nine months instead,

And he figured that taking ten minutes for breakfast and twenty minutes for luncheon and half an hour for dinner meant that he spent three years, two months and fifteen days at the table,
So that by subsisting solely on bouillon cubes which he swallowed at his desk to save this entire period he was able,

And he figured that at ten minutes a day he spent a little over six months and ten days shaving,
So he grew a beard, which gave him a considerable saving,

And you might think that now he might have been satisfied, but no, he wore a thoughtful frown,
Because he figured that at two minutes a day he would spend thirty-eight days and a few minutes in elevators just travelling up and down,

So as a final time saving device he stepped out the window of his office, which happened to be on the fiftieth floor,
And one of his partners asked "Has he vertigo?"
and the other glanced out and down and said "Oh no, only about ten feet more."

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 11 of 38: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Thu, Oct 14, 1999 (20:57) * 15 lines 
The Cobra

This creature fills its mouth with venom
And walks upon its duodenum.
He who attempts to tease the cobra
Is soon a sadder he, and sobra.

The Canary

The song of canaries
Never varies,
And when they're moulting
They're pretty revolting.

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 12 of 38: Wolf  (wolf) * Thu, Oct 14, 1999 (21:02) * 1 lines 
so true, so true!!

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 13 of 38: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Thu, Oct 14, 1999 (21:10) * 17 lines 
Nearly posted The Canary in Aviculture...*grin*

Song of the Open Road

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.

The Sea-Gull

Hark to the whimper of the sea-gull;
He weeps because he's not an ea-gull.
Suppose you were, you silly sea-gull.
Could you explain it to your she-gull?

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 14 of 38: Wolf  (wolf) * Thu, Oct 14, 1999 (21:12) * 3 lines 

the canary would be more than appropriate for aviculture!

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 15 of 38: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Thu, Oct 14, 1999 (21:22) * 1 lines 
Might I post it there, as well as here? (Asking permission of the hostess is necessary...*smile*)

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 16 of 38: Wolf  (wolf) * Thu, Oct 14, 1999 (21:24) * 1 lines 
of course you may and the sea-gull as well!

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 17 of 38: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Thu, Oct 14, 1999 (21:29) * 1 lines 
Mahalo! (forgot the poor seagull!)

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 18 of 38: Wolf  (wolf) * Thu, Oct 14, 1999 (21:33) * 1 lines 
but it was cute! *laugh*

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 19 of 38: John Burnett  (mrchips) * Thu, Oct 14, 1999 (21:45) * 10 lines 
It is too bad that Joyce Kilmer didn't live to read this:

Song of the Open Road
by Ogden Nash

I think that I shall never see
A billboard as lovely as a tree.
Perhaps unless the billboards fall,
I'll never see a tree at all.

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 20 of 38: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Thu, Oct 14, 1999 (22:09) * 1 lines 
Let me interject an bit of information relative to your comment, John...Hawaii does not allow billboards or large signs of any sort. You cannot believe how shocking it is to get used to seeing scenery here, then arriving on the Mainland where all scenery is replaced by the ubiquitous and obtrusive billboard. Ugly!!!

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 21 of 38: John Burnett  (mrchips) * Fri, Oct 15, 1999 (01:43) * 1 lines 
One more reason Hawaii no ka oi! Still, you remember Wyland's original "whaling wall" in Waikiki. The politicians and even the outdoor circle treated it as a billboard for his art. To think that the gorgeous mural of underwater whales was somehow less beautiful than the bare wall of a parking garage. Auwe!

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 22 of 38: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Fri, Oct 15, 1999 (13:41) * 18 lines 
Auwe, indeed! I remember well Wyland's magnificent coverage of a blank cinder-block wall. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed...

The Pig

The pig, if I am not mistaken,
Supplies us sausage, ham, and bacon.
Let others say his heart is big --
I call it stupid of the pig.


There once was a man from Calcutta,
Who coated his tonsils with butta,
Thus converting his snore
From a thunderous roar,
To a soft, oleaginous mutta.

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 23 of 38: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Sat, Oct 16, 1999 (13:49) * 10 lines 
The Chipmunk
Odgen Nash

My friends all know that I am shy,
But the chipmunk is twice and shy and I.
He moves with flickering indecision
Like stripes across the television.
Hes like the shadow of a cloud,
Or Emily Dickinson read aloud.

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 24 of 38: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Sat, Oct 16, 1999 (13:54) * 15 lines 
The Firefly

The firefly's flame Is something for which science has no name
I can think of nothing eerier
Than flying around with an unidentified glow on a
person's posteerier.


I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance
were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.
Ogden Nash

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 25 of 38: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Sat, Oct 16, 1999 (14:00) * 39 lines 

Possessions are Nine Points of
by Ogden Nash

Some people, and it doesn't matter whether they are paupers or
Think that anything they have is the best in the world just because it is
If they happen to own a 1921 jalopy,
They look at their neighbor's new de luxe convertible like the wearer of
a 57th Street gown at a 14th Street copy.
If their seventeen-year-old child is still in the third grade they sneer at
the graduation of the seventeen-year-old children of their friends,
Claiming that prodigies always come to bad ends,
And if their roof leaks,
It's because the shingles are antiques.
Other people, and if doesn't matter if they are Scandinavians or Celts,
Think that anything is better than theirs just because it belongs to
somebody else.
If you congratulate them when their blue-blooded Doberman pinscher
wins the obedience championship, they look at you like a martyr,
And say that the garbage man's little Rover is really infinitely smarter;
And if they smoke fifteen-cent cigars they are sure somebody else gets
better cigars for a dime.
And if they take a trip to Paris they are sure their friends who went to
Old Orchard had a better time.
Yes, they look on their neighbor's ox and ass with covetousness and
their own ox and ass with abhorrence,
And if they are wives they want their husband to be like Florence's
Freddie, and if they are husbands they want their wives to be like
Freddie's Florence.
I think that comparisons are truly odious, I do not approve of this
constant proud or envious to-do;
And furthermore, dear friends, I think that you and yours are delightful
and I also think that me and mine are delightful too.

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 26 of 38: MarkG  (MarkG) * Mon, Oct 25, 1999 (08:15) * 11 lines 
I have a question about this Ogden Nash poem:

People expect old men to die.
They do not really mourn old men.
Old men are different. People look
At them with eyes that wonder when...
People watch with unshocked eyes,
But the old men know when an old man dies.

Could the last line possibly mean that the old men know when an old man "dies", as in they know the moment that an old man effectively ceases to be, as opposed to when he physically passes? That was how I read it to myself first time, which gives it an interpretation I now don't think is there at all.
But I'm not sure.

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 27 of 38: John Burnett  (mrchips) * Mon, Oct 25, 1999 (09:32) * 1 lines 
That's deeper than I've ever thought about an Ogden Nash poem. Marcia? I am impressed with your thought, Mark, but I'll defer to our resident Nash-o-phile here.

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 28 of 38: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Mon, Oct 25, 1999 (13:13) * 5 lines 
Ah, John! That is the crux of the matter...I am a Nash-o-phile, not a Nash expert. That is a new poem to me (as are several long ones I have posted here.)

Mark, I shall check to see if there is a critique of that particular poem and see what is said about it. However, my reading (and upon reading your analysis)
I see this happening with the regulars who inhabit the crowds watching the Vulcan (UHHilo) sports. Many are elderly and have been coming for years and years with great regularity. When I was much younger I noted that some were no longer in the audience when it was pointed out to me ("Has so-and-so been here recently? I have't seen him in ages!") Nowadays I note much sooner that some of our elder statesmen are missing and inquire about them. Perhaps I notice them because I am not so self-absorbed as I
once was and care about the ones I recognize game after game. Just a guess on my part, but I think the older you are the more you are concerned about others...! Especially the elderly.

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 29 of 38: MarkG  (MarkG) * Tue, Oct 26, 1999 (05:15) * 2 lines 
Interesting. Thanks, Marcia! I think I was trying to over-complicate. But it is a very detached and un-Nash-like poem, IMO.
Your example is very relevant - young people going "who cares if one old man dies or another? Nothing to do with me, I'm young." Until they're not quite so young.

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 30 of 38: John Burnett  (mrchips) * Tue, Oct 26, 1999 (10:41) * 3 lines 
Marcia, re: post 21:

Cooler heads prevailed only temporarily. The whaling wall was obscured by another parking garage going up right next to it. In Hawaii, outdoor art is a no-no...another ugly building, though is "economic development."

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 31 of 38: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Tue, Oct 26, 1999 (12:59) * 4 lines 
It has been a while since I have been to Honolulu to drive around. I had no idea some idiot obscured Wyland's mural. How sad...!

Mark, sometimes it is a Good Thing to be a little bit older and wiser. This Nash poem shows a depth of the poet which I never knew was there. I just extrapolated my experiences into his words and they seemed to fit. The young are immortal and more than a little shallow...until, as you point out, they are
not quite so young anymore.

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 32 of 38: Moon  (moonbeam) * Tue, Oct 26, 1999 (13:41) * 1 lines 
There's a searchable Ogden Nash site online now.

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 33 of 38: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Wed, Oct 27, 1999 (15:26) * 1 lines 
Thanks, Nan...There is so much more to Ogden Nash that I never knew is hard to know what to ask about in the search...but it will be fun to try. Who know, perhaps I will find more undiscovered (by me) gems of his in there *smile*

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 34 of 38: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Wed, Oct 27, 1999 (15:27) * 68 lines 
For all Fathers who have loved their daughters:

Song To Be Sung by the Father of Infant
Female Children
by Ogden Nash

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky;
Contrariwise, my blood runs cold
When little boys go by.
For little boys as little boys,
No special hate I carry,
But now and then they grow to men,
And when they do, they marry.
No matter how they tarry,
Eventually they marry.
And, swine among the pearls,
They marry little girls.

Oh, somewhere, somewhere, an infant plays,
With parents who feed and clothe him.
Their lips are sticky with pride and praise,
But I have begun to loathe him.
Yes, I loathe with loathing shameless
This child who to me is nameless.
This bachelor child in his carriage
Gives never a thought to marriage,
But a person can hardly say knife
Before he will hunt him a wife.

I never see an infant (male),
A-sleeping in the sun,
Without I turn a trifle pale
And think is he the one?
Oh, first he'll want to crop his curls,
And then he'll want a pony,
And then he'll think of pretty girls,
And holy matrimony.
A cat without a mouse
Is he without a spouse.

Oh, somewhere he bubbles bubbles of milk,
And quietly sucks his thumbs.
His cheeks are roses painted on silk,
And his teeth are tucked in his gums.
But alas the teeth will begin to grow,
And the bubbles will cease to bubble;
Given a score of years or so,
The roses will turn to stubble.
He'll sell a bond, or he'll write a book,
And his eyes will get that acquisitive look,
And raging and ravenous for the kill,
He'll boldly ask for the hand of Jill.
This infant whose middle
Is diapered still
Will want to marry My daughter Jill.

Oh sweet be his slumber and moist his middle!
My dreams, I fear, are infanticiddle.
A fig for embryo Lohengrins!
I'll open all his safety pins,
I'll pepper his powder, and salt his bottle,
And give him readings from Aristotle.
Sand for his spinach I'll gladly bring,
And Tabasco sauce for his teething ring.
Then perhaps he'll struggle though fire and water
To marry somebody else's daughter.

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 35 of 38: Wolf  (wolf) * Sat, Nov  6, 1999 (21:31) * 3 lines 
i think the old men die poem was indicating how we "young" people notice when young people die but don't blink twice when an older person goes. but, in the same respect, an older person notes when another older person goes which is a sort of countdown for them.

ah, but perhaps i'm just stating the obvious and you all already noted that. sorry if i did *smile*

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 36 of 38: Wolf  (wolf) * Sat, Nov  6, 1999 (21:31) * 1 lines 
and i just couldn't bear to read the father love daughters poem....maybe another night.

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 37 of 38: Stacey Tinianov  (stacey) * Mon, Nov 15, 1999 (11:30) * 2 lines 
I did...
and I sent it to my father!

 Topic 41 of 52 [poetry]: Ogden Nash
 Response 38 of 38: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Mon, Nov 15, 1999 (12:20) * 2 lines 
That was a lovely gesture, Stace, and I know your father got all misty over it. Wolfie, I know how you felt when you said you would read it another night.
When I read it before posting it here, I missed my father, I felt for fathers with daughters who are dear to them (and whose fathers are also dear to me). It is a cute poem, but it manages to touch one in unexpected places.

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