Sunday, April 16, 2017

Ogden Nash - Shel Silverstein

N - Ogden Nash (1902-1971) was known for his humor and play with rhyme and words to produce that humor.  Nashville was named after his great great great uncle.

I remember enjoying little ditties by Ogden Nash as a kid. But time changes our taste and humor. I had a bit of struggle finding one of his poems that held to the light of 2017.

To My Valentine by Ogden Nash
More than a catbird hates a cat,
Or a criminal hates a clue,
Or the Axis hates the United States,
That's how much I love you.

I love you more than a duck can swim,
And more than a grapefruit squirts,
I love you more than a gin rummy is a bore,
And more than a toothache hurts.

As a shipwrecked sailor hates the sea,
Or a juggler hates a shove,
As a hostess detests unexpected guests,
That's how much you I love.

I love you more than a wasp can sting,
And more than the subway jerks,
I love you as much as a beggar needs a crutch,
And more than a hangnail irks.

I swear to you by the stars above,
And below, if such there be,
As the High Court loathes perjurious oathes,
That's how you're love by me.


One of my favorite storyteller was Shel Silverstein. He had that comic edge in mirthful poems similar to Ogden Nash. 

When teacher's first got computers at the school we worked with, we all learned ways in which they could get us in trouble. A teacher who taught Gifted Language Arts had a student to send Shel Silverstein and email that said "You suck". It takes a gifted child to be that obnoxious. lol

She did write back and apologize. We were all stunned he replied. I hope the kid does not make the mistake of bragging of his exploit to his own children. Payback is never fun.

Down in Lou´siana where the black trees grow
Lives a voodoo lady named Marie Laveaux.
She got a black cat tooth and a mojo bone,
And anyone wouldn´t leave her alone.
Another man done gone.
She live in a swamp in a hollow log
With a one-eyed snake and a three-legged dog.
She got a bent bony body and stringy hair,
And if she ever seen you messin´ round there,
Another man done gone.

And then one night when the moon was black,
Into the swamp came Handsome Jack.
A no-good man like you all know,
And he was lookin´ around for Marie Laveaux .
He said, 'Marie Laveau, you lovely witch,
Why don´t you gimme a little charm that´ll make me rich.
Gimme million dollars, and I´ll tell you what I´ll do...
This very night I´m gonna marry you.'
It´ll be UMMMMMMMM...
Another man done gone.

So Marie did some magic and she shook a little sand,
Made a million dollars, and she put it in his hand.
Then she looked and she said , 'Hey hey,
I´m gettin´ ready for my wedding day.'
But ol´ Handsome Jack said 'Good-bye Marie.
You too damn ugly for a man like me.'
So Marie started shakin´, her fangs started gnashin´,
Her body started shakin´, and her eyes started flashin´.
Another man done gone.

So if you ever get down where the black tree grow
And meet a voodoo lady named Marie Laveaux,
And if she ever asks you to make her your wife,
Man, you better stay with her for the rest of your life
Another man done gone. 


  1. Double the fun with your N run.

  2. Grapefruit squirts and kids of a certain 'gift' actually fit well with an old swamp witch ;-)
    Happy Easter, Ann!

    1. Imagine if the boy had intercepted the email and replied. lol, Like a grapefruit squirt for sure.

  3. Marie Laveaux was made into a country hit song. I think Nash'poem could make one too with the right artist singing it.
    Perspectives at Life & Faith in Caneyhead

  4. Goodness, kids can sure get into trouble in no time flat. I wonder how they felt when he replied?
    Discarded Darlings - Jean Davis, Speculative Fiction Writer, A to Z: Editing Fiction

    1. I bet they were surprised. I can hear the kid say "What?" I wasn't involved but that would be my reckoning.

  5. I really like this line from the Ogden Nash poem "As a hostess detests unexpected guests, That's how much you I love" because he compares the strength of his love to how much a hostess detests something. I can't think of two more contradictory emotions. And yet it works.

    1. I still find Ogden Nash funny. But he was from a different time. He makes me think of a Red Sorvine tale. Except Nash is funny and Sorvine always tells a tear jerker.

  6. I was giggling all the while reading Ogden Nash's expression of love!!! What a different take on expressing the love to beloved!
    Thank you so much for sharing a wonderful poem!
    Anagha From Team MocktailMommies
    Collage Of Life

  7. Hi Ann - these are both wonderful poems and stories unfolding .. oh that kid must have been shocked ... I wonder what he's feeling now ... lovely to be reminded and I didn't know of Shel Silverstein - what a fun start to the day and a read ... cheers Hilary


Your thoughts.


 Zephyr is a soft, peaceful breeze. And I thought it had to be an imaginary animal. For many of you, we will not meet again until the next A...