portrait of Ogden Nash

All archives
Previous Issue (18 August 2002) | Current month | Next Issue (20 August 2002)

Quotes of the Day for 19 August 2002 – Ogden Nash

The humorous American poet Frederick Ogden Nash was born a century ago today at Rye, New York. After family finances prevented him from finishing even a year at Harvard, he struggled as a school teacher (a class of 14-year-olds caused too much stress), bond broker (he only sold one bond in 18 months, and that to his godmother), advertising copywriter, children's book author (The Cricket of Carador sold only 900 copies), but finally thrived as an editor at Doubleday. His boss encouraged him to send some of the silly poetry he wrote to relieve office boredom to the New Yorker, who published his first piece in 1930. He never was able to sell his more serious poetry, which forced him to write over 1500 pieces that amused us. The US Postal Service is scheduled to release a stamp in his honor today. This will be the first commemorative issued at the new 37-cent rate, but shown here from the artwork before the rate increase.

Van's signature

You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.

The quotes:

The Germ
A mighty creature is the germ,
Though smaller than a pachyderm.
His customary dwelling place
Is deep within the human race.
His childish pride he often pleases
By giving people strange diseases.
Do you, my poppet, feel infirm?
You probably contain a germ.

To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you're wrong, admit it;
Whenever you're right, shut up.

Song of the Open Road
I think that I shall never see
a billboard lovely as a tree.
Perhaps, unless the billboards fall,
I'll never see a tree at all.

The Parent
Children aren't happy without something to ignore,
And that's what parents were created for.

Samson Agonistes
I test my bath before I sit,
And I'm always moved to wonderment
That what chills the finger not a bit
Is so frigid upon the fundament.
     - Today's poetry is all from Ogden Nash, 1902 - 1971

Do you see an error on this page? A typo, a character that is messed up, a misattribution? Please let us know!