Ogden Nash, an American poet known for his droll and playful verse, wrote over 500 pieces of comic verse, the best of which was published in 14 volumes between 1931 and his death in 1971. He frequently used surprising puns, made up words, and words deliberately misspelled for comic effect.
His most famous rhyme was a twist on Joyce Kilmer’s poem “Trees” (1913): “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.”
When Nash wasn’t writing poems, he made guest appearances on comedy and radio shows and lectured at colleges and universities.
I am a conscientious man, when I throw rocks at seabirds I leave no tern
A mighty creature is the germ,
Though smaller than the pachyderm.
His customary dwelling place
Is deep within the human race.
His childish pride he often pleases
By giving people strange diseases.
Do you, my poppet, feel infirm?
You probably contain a germ.
Progress might have been alright once, but it has gone on too long.
The rhino is a homely beast,
For human eyes he’s not a feast.
Farewell, farewell, you old rhinoceros,
I’ll stare at something less prepoceros.
The Pig, if I am not mistaken,
Gives us ham and pork and Bacon.
Let others think his heart is big,
I think it stupid of the Pig.
There is only one way to achieve happiness on this terrestrial ball, and that is to have either a clear conscience or none at all.
Oh, what a tangled web do parents weave when they think that their children are naive.