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Ogden Nash

Frederic Ogden Nash (August 19, 1902 - May 19, 1971) was an American poet.

He was born in Rye, New York.

Nash is interred in North Hampton, New Hampshire.

He is well-known for writing pithy, funny, light verse.


The Camel has a single hump,
The dromedary two,
Or is it just the other way,
I'm never sure -- are you?

Candy is dandy;
But liquor is quicker

Ogden Nash, the master of the whimsical, light verse, was born in Rye New York in 1902. Mr. Nash’s father was very distinguished. He owned and operated an import- export company, which caused their family to relocate often. Ogden Nash’s family was so distinguished the state of Tennessee dubbed a city, Nashville, in honor of one of his ancestors. In 1920 Ogden Nash was accepted into
Harvard University only to drop out a year later. He worked his way through a series of jobs, eventually landing a position as a copywriter at a Doubleday publishing house. Here where Ogden Nash began to scribble down his thoughts for the world to read.

In 1931 Mr. Nash published his first collection of poems titled Hard Lines. This selection of poems earned him national recognition. However, Ogden Nash’s poems reflect a certain anti-establishment feeling. For example, he wrote a verse entitled Common Sense which says “Why did the lord give us agility if not to evade responsibility" . Another example is a person Mr. Nash titled More About People:

When people aren’t asking questions
They’re making suggestions
And when they’re not doing one of those
They’re either looking over your shoulder or stepping on your toes
And then as if that weren’t enough to annoy you
They employ you.
Anybody at leisure
Incurs everybody’s displeasure.
It seems to be very irking
To people at work to see other people not working,
So they tell you that work is wonderful medicine,
Just look at Firestone and Ford and Edison,
And they lecture you till they’re out of breath or something
And then if you don’t succumb they starve you to death or something.
All of which results in a nasty quirk:
That if you don’t want to work you have to work to earn enough money so that you won’t have to work.
When Ogden Nash wasn’t writing poems he made guest appearances on comedy and radio shows. Mr. Nash also occupied his time touring the United States and England, giving lectures at colleges and universities. Mr. Nash’s style of poetry is uniquely his own. His humorous, rhythmic verses quickly attracted the attention of the common man. Such verses as “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker” sling shot Ogden Nash to the head of his class. Mr. Nash was well respected throughout the course of his life as he continues to be throughout his death.


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