Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Ogden Nash!

"I have an idea that the phrase 'weaker sex' was coined by some woman to disarm the man she was preparing to overwhelm."

"The most exciting happiness is the happiness generated by forces beyond your control."

"I believe a little incompatibility is the spice of life, particularly if he has income and she is pattable."
All from Ogden Nash, 1902 - 1971

Frederic Ogden Nash
Born: August 19, 1902
Rye, New York
Died: May 19, 1971
Baltimore, Maryland

American poet and writer

Ogden Nash was one of the most successful English-language poets of the twentieth century.

Nash grew up in various East Coast communities and even lived in Savannah, Georgia, during his youth. He attended St. George's School in Newport, Rhode Island, and he was accepted to Harvard but dropped out after barely completing a year.

Nash held a variety of odd jobs but was unsuccessful at all of them.. He worked on Wall Street as a bond salesman. He sold only one bond—to his godmother—and instead of getting out and trying to sell more he spent his afternoons in movie theaters. He was a schoolteacher for a year at St. George's School, and from there he was hired as an advertising copywriter for streetcar signs. In 1925 he was hired in the marketing department of the Doubleday publishing house and did well enough that he moved on to its editorial department as a manuscript reader.

In 1930 Nash wrote a poem called "Spring Comes to Murray Hill" and submitted it to the New Yorker, one of the most respected, well-read magazines of the day. Nash had thought up the poem while looking out his office window and thinking about his own life. The New Yorker published the poem and invited Nash to submit more; his appearances in the magazine led to a contract for his first work, Hard Lines, published in 1931. It was a success, being printed seven times in its first year alone. Nash quit his Doubleday job.

During the 1930s and 1940s, Nash's poems continued to appear in magazines and published collections. He was considered one of America's greatest humorists . He was very successful at expressing disbelief and dismay at the every day problems of modern American life. He criticized religious preaching and politicians that he considered to be filled with self importance. He referred to himself as a "worsifier" instead of a "versifier." His work was often criticized for taking liberties with spelling and rhyme. One example is the line: "If called by a panther/Don't anther."

In 1931 Nash married Frances Rider Leonard, and had two daughters. His zest for being a Father provided more subject matter for him and in 1936 he published a collection of poems called The Bad Parents' Garden of Verse. Nash also wrote screenplays for three Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer films—The Firefly (1937), The Shining Hair (1938), and The Feminine Touch (1941). While in California he met another well-known writer, S. J. Perelman (1904–1979), who had written for the Marx Brothers films. They worked together on a musical, One Touch of Venus. It was a grand success on Broadway in 1943.

Nash was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and National Institute of Arts and Letters. During the 1950s he wrote more often for the children's market. The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus (1957), Custard the Dragon (1959), and Girls are Silly (1962) , all of them great sellers. He also wrote for television productions of Peter and the Wolf and The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Hewrote about his experiences of babysitting his grandchildren. After suffering various illnesses in his later years, he wrote a number of poems about the medical establishment that were later collected in 1970's Bed Riddance: A Posy for the Indisposed.

Nash died on May 19, 1971 from Crohn's disease . Several collections of his work were published after his death, including I Wouldn't Have Missed It (1975) and A Penny Saved Is Impossible (1981).

The Firefly
by: Ogden Nash

The firefly's flame is something for which science has no name
I can think of nothing eerier
than flying around with an unidentified glow on a
person's posteerier.

The Termite
by:Ogden Nash

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!

I felt I had to mention the birthday of Ogden Nash today.. He became famous for his quick humor and strange wit.. for his ability to take the facts of real life during hard times and make them funny... I personally liked his saying pertaining to Ice breaking of "Candy is Dandy; But Liquor is quicker!" I guess it's true.. once you are about half drunk~ everyone is your friend..

I was surprised that I managed to sneak another post by my cranky modem.. For some reason it has only blinked it's red eye at me a few times today.. But Thankfully The wonderful Ups Man Just dropped off the new Modem.. Hopefully I will be back to normal soon! Have a great day!


A Lil Enchanted said...

What cute lil poems... thanks for sharing them.... and Ogden's story :)

I'm glad you got your new modem... I was wondering why you hadn't posted... hopefully you'll be up and running quick and smooth by tomorrow!

A Lil Enchanted,

Pblacksaw said...

A Lil enchanted~ Thanks ! I am glad to have my modem too I was going nuts..