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Monday, March 21, 2011

Blown Away by the Nash Man

Custard, in Very Good Company
posted by Andrea Perry
Who has ever had so much fun with words??? Anything I have ever read  by Ogden Nash has blown me away, so it was very hard to narrow things down to a single book, but I'd probably choose Custard and Company. Custard is a selection of Nash's poems from his many other works.  For anyone not familiar with this self-proclaimed "worsifier", surely you've heard that ..."Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker?"
From Cricket of Carador to Parents Keep Out: Elderly Poems for Youngerly Readers, Nash never ceases to be clever, amusing, and smart, and I am so very jealous. Have you ever heard a cow described so perfectly?

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

Or an eel?
I don't mind eels
Except as meals.
And the way they feels.

A hippopotamus?

Behold the hippopotamus!
We laugh at how he looks to us,
And yet in moments dank and grim
I wonder how we look to him.
Peace, peace, thou hippopotamus!
We really look all right to us,
As you no doubt delight the eye
Of other hippopotami.

Is "hippopotami" a correct plural? Do we care? It should be!
And finally, one of my all time favorites, The Octopus:

Tell me, O Octopus, I begs,
Is those things arms, or is they legs?
I marvel at thee, Octopus:
If I were thou, I'd call me Us.

His rhyming is brilliant, hilarious, and not apt to be found in any rhyming dictionary that I know...boomerang with Kangaroo meringue? Sepia and creepier?  Dolphin and golphin?  Polish and rigamarolish?
If you have never experienced the pleasure of his verse, pick up a copy of anything Nash sometime very soon.  You won't be disappointed.

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