Wednesday, November 18, 2009

FreeVerse: Ogden Nash

Inspired by Cara's funny limericks of last week, I went out out this week to deliberately find one of my favourite poets: the marvellous Ogden Nash. He makes up words with impunity to rhyme with what he wishes, and occasionally even manages to inject a little bit of education. I have always enjoyed his animal-based poetry specifically, and the first poem I could recite was a Nash (helped a lot that it was short):

The Panther
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 am pretty sure that I drove my parents nuts with that one, the last two lines of which would set me off into shrieks of high-pitched little girl laughter.

A few more Ogden Nash gems collected from two websites:

The Lama

The one-l lama,
He's a priest.
The two-l llama,
He's a beast.
And I will bet a silk pajama
There isn't any
Three-l lllama.

The Ant

The ant has made himself illustrious
Through constant industry industrious.
So what?
Would you be calm and placid
If you were full of formic acid?

The Dog

The truth I do not stretch or shove
When I say the dog is full of love.
I've also found, by actual test,
A wet dog is the lovingest.

The Cow

The cow is of the bovine ilk;
One end is moo, the other milk.

FreeVerse is hosted every Wednesday by Cara of Ooh... Books! Head on over there for other poems or to add yourself to a celebration of poetry in all its forms.


Felicity Grace Terry said...

Hi, Many thanks for visiting me over at Pen And Paper, it was nice to meet you.

Now these are my type of poetry - short and to the point AND they make you laugh - I especially enjoyed the first one.

Unknown said...

Nice to meet you too! I hadn't seen your blog before, so I'm glad I got a chance to visit. Thanks for dropping by here, too. Glad you enjoyed the poems this week!

Cath said...

My favourite was always The Termite.

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.

Cracks me up every time I read it.

Unknown said...

Cath - I'd so forgotten about that one, but I love it too! Awesome awesome awesome.

Phyl said...

Another Ogden Nash fan! Woo!

I don't remember any animal ones just now, but I do have favourites I always quote:

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

And then there's the one that starts more or less like this:

The people upstairs all practise ballet
Their living room is a bowling alley...

Unknown said...

Phyl, that billboard poem is one of my favourites too! It didn't fit in with my animal theme, but I adore it. He's one of those people I'm sorry I never had the chance to hear or see in person, because I just love the way his mind (as evinced by his poetry) works!