LOL, John. I particularly like your Distribution of Wealth. My favorite Nash poem doesn't have any made up words in it, and I THINK I know it not from a Nash collection but from its inclusion in a paperback anthology of humor edited by Bennett Cerf that found its way onto my parents' bookshelves in the Fifties. Some primal termite knocked on wood And tasted it and found it good And that is why your Cousin May Fell through the parlor floor today. Liz, "The Termite" is one of those in my collection of Nash poems. I love it.
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LOL, John. I particularly like your Distribution of Wealth. My favorite Nash poem doesn't have any made up words in it, and I THINK I know it not from a Nash collection but from its inclusion in a paperback anthology of humor edited by Bennett Cerf that found its way onto my parents' bookshelves in the Fifties. Some primal termite knocked on wood And tasted it and found it good And that is why your Cousin May Fell through the parlor floor today.
Liz, "The Termite" is one of those in my collection of Nash poems. I love it. By the way, Fran Rizer, whose comments have not been posting yesterday and today, sent me the following via an email: "I used to write limericks constantly, including 'Unchained Limerick,' which went on forever, one after the other, and told a story. No, they weren't all risque. Great stuff, John, and very funny. I think you're giving Ogden a run for his money!
A lot of times when I'm writing I'll stop at a word I just put down a really good one, too and ask myself, "Is that a real word, or did I just make that up? John, Ogden Nash is one of my favorite rhymers and I delight in reading his very clever verse.
Your pieces would rank up there with them, and I am sure he would say the same. Some time ago I met and had dinner with Richard Armour, a Nash contemporary. He was a little jealous of Nash, I believe, and was somewhat miffed that one of his rhymes was always attributed to Nash.
Good column. I'd like to see more of your efforts. Nice article, John! Back in the early s Ogden Nash's brother can't remember his name lived in an apartment building in Pasadena owned by my first wife's parents. Apparently he was sort of a broken man. He kept trying to write poetry like his brother, and couldn't pull it off. Every few weeks he would wander down to my then-father-in-law's apartment to share the poems, which were uniformly straining for something he just couldn't quite pull off.
After Fran's comment, I've gotta share my favorite clean limerick. I don't know its origin. A gentleman dining in Kew Found quite a large mouse in his stew. Said the waiter, "Don't shout And wave it about Or the rest will be wanting one too. Okay, Liz, I have one that has two versions. There once was a lady named Fran Who fell madly in love with a man She found out he lied Her love quickly died Clean last line: She grabbed up her heart and she ran Risque last line: She grabbed up her panties and ran Now I have to see if this is going to let me post.
Thanks to all for your kind comments. I think there's just something about light verse, and especially limericks clean AND naughty , that appeals to a great many folks. As mentioned earlier, that kind of thing just brightens my day. Part bird, part mammal, part reptile. Nature's sideshow. Would that Darwin could explain what God intended when He placed you on this Man's earth. Love your stuff.
Yours truly, Toe. My attempts at Nashian wordplay included the following: Never try to cross a bull's pasture No matter how fasture For mystery lovers, Nash is credited with the phrase "Had I but known Nature's sideshow, indeed.
Many thanks! Good advice, Jeff! That's exactly the kind of non-word that works well. My brother and his wife have been encouraging a couple rabbits to live in their back yard in downtown St. Last week they sent me pictures of 7 cute little bunnies cavorting in their back yard. I replied to them with the following, with obvious apologies to Mr.
Nash: The trouble with your bunny habits Is that invariably they turn into rabbits. Careful, Dale--you'll soon be coming up with these little ditties when you should be writing fiction instead. But it sure is fun. Those are fun, John. I hung onto that little book for years to show outsiders the Blue Giant did have a sense of humor. Look it up on YouTube. For years and years Newhart performed live at our annual achievement conferences, and he was always hilarious. Post a Comment.
It's funny how we get started reading new authors. For me it happens sometimes by chance but usually as the result of a recommendation by fellow readers or writers. And, more and more, I've begun seeking out books and stories written by my fellow SleuthSayers. However it comes to pass, it's always fun to discover new writers. I'm sure that he, like me and millions of other fans, is glad he did.
I can recall seeing only a few photos of Mr. Nash, and I think he looked like a pretty regular guy, maybe a bit scholarly. I even have a volume of his collected poetry on the bookshelf about ten feet from where I'm sitting right now. Occasionally I open it to a random page and read a few lines, and whenever I do I seem to feel a little better for the rest of the day.
If you don't already know Ogden Nash, here's some quick background. America's most accomplished writer of light verse, Nash was born in Rye, New York, in but moved to Baltimore in his thirties and lived there until his death in A few interesting pieces of trivia: he was descended from the brother of General Francis Nash, who gave his name to Nashville, Tennessee; his family lived briefly in a carriage house owned by Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts; and his death was the result of an infection from, of all things, improperly prepared coleslaw.
Making a word perfect. I recall that my friend David Dean once mentioned in a SleuthSayers column the fact that some words sound good even though they might not be real words.
I agree, and I've used them in my own fiction--usually as verbs--when someone THUNKs his head on the sidewalk, or a helicopter whopwhopwhopwhops its way overhead, or a boomerang whickers through the air.
Yes, I know that's called onomatopoeia, but unless they're Hawaiian I'm not fond of words that have four vowels in a row. I'd rather just say it's "using words that sound like the sounds they make. Ogden Nash loved to create nonexistent words, especially in rhyme, and instead of being distracting because of their difference, they were wonderfully appropriate. Of babies, he once wrote in a poem, "A bit of talcum is always walcum," and on the subject of wasps, "He throws open his nest with prodigality, but I distrust his waspitality.
Trying to imitate the master. While it probably wouldn't be ethical to use examples of Nash's "invented-or-otherwise-zany-word" poems in their entirety here, I have no such qualms about showing you some of my own.
The last two have never even been submitted and probably for good reason. When chased by a crazed wildebeest,. I preferred not to just kildebeest;. So I found a snapshotta. My wife's cousin Lotta,. Which immediately stildebeest. If the country of Yemen. Were governed by Britain,. Their gas would be petrol,. Their dresses tight-fittin'. And sports fans could watch,. For the price of a ticket,. Arabian knights.
Playing Yemeni cricket. An inactive volcano named Dora. Was implanted with buildings and flora;. And some say since the mayor. Has his offices there,. It puts out more hot air than befora. Your investments crashed?
Your money's gone? Be neither sad nor jealous;. It isn't really gone--it just. Belongs to someone ealous. She ran with the bulls at Pamplona;.
Candy Is Dandy: The Best of Ogden Nash
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“Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.”
Definition: Candy is a good thing to offer someone to get them to do something, but liquor will work more quickly. Daughter: So I really want all my friends to have a great time. I was thinking it would be a good idea to have some candy out on the tables for people to snack on. Mother: Well, if you want them to really enjoy themselves, candy is dandy but liquor is quicker.
Candy Is Dandy: The delightful verse of Ogden Nash
Nash's poems, which caught the fancy of the critics and the masses alike, run the gamut of human emotion. Very few people—at least in the past years—have been able to make a living—let alone a comfortable living—purely out of writing poetry. The vast majority of poets have had to support themselves with a—often dreary—day job. One of the very few exceptions to that rule was the American master of light verse, Ogden Nash , whose poems were immensely popular in the English-speaking world from the day he started publishing them and have remained popular till today. He was that rare poet who had a mass audience and was also critically acclaimed. He invented a style of rhyming that was distinctly his own, and though many have tried to imitate him, none has succeeded. He played around with words, sometimes twisting them to make them rhyme, and sometimes deliberately misspelling them, to great effect.