Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Custard and Company - Poems by Ogden Nash

Children aren't happy with nothing to ignore, And that's what parents were created for.

In honor of National Poetry Month and my son whom I inadvertently named after this man, I decided to delve into some poems by Ogden Nash , selected and illustrated by Quentin Blake.

Very much along the lines of Shel Silverstein of Where the Sidewalk Ends fame, Nash's genius is fun and wonderfully unadorned. At the time of his death in 1971, the New York Times said his "droll verse with its unconventional rhymes made him the country's best-known producer of humorous poetry".

From terse masterpieces like "The Kitten" (The trouble with a kitten is THAT Eventually is becomes a CAT) to the longer "A Watched Example Never Boils," and "The Tale of Custard the Dragon," this funny collection tickled by funny bone on more than one occasion. And I particularly enjoyed the frenetic illustrations by Blake. (His work is also included in another favorite of mine, Roald Dahl.) They added the perfect amount of whimsy to these animated tales, of mostly animals. Nash loved to write poetry about various animals (The turtle lives 'twixt plated decks/Which practically conceal its sex/I think it clever of the turtle/In such a fix to be so fertile.) And food. (I'm mad about mustard-even on custard.)

I had a lot of fun reading this book. It made me want to try it myself - ha. I'd prefer someone else to fill in the blanks instead, or better yet write your own and include it in the comments. Happy poetry month!

Once I was slim and oh so skinny
Now I'm all wide and oh so ________.
Giving birth isn't something to hide
So I must ______ on the _____
His ruddy cheeks and pouty lips
Make me grateful for my big ______.


hamilcar barca said...

one of my favorite Nash odes is :

"A little talcum
Is always walcum."

the man was a wordplay genius, and inspired me to come up with a rhyme for the (theoretically) un-rhymable word "purple".

"Roses are red,
Violets are purple;
If my farts won't offend you,
I'm sure that my burp'll."

L said...

LOL I'm peeing my pants that was so awesome! Just now you came up with that? Dang you're good.

Rebecca Reid said...

Oh this sounds like so much fun! Must go find more....

L said...

It won't be hard, his stuff is in a LOT of books. Prepare to giggle much!