Ogden Nash #socs

Seeing that today’s prompt is "opt," I went looking for words that contained that fragment. One of those words was "lepidopterist," a person who collects butterflies…

The lepidopterist, with happy cries
Devotes his days to hunting butterflies.
The leopard, through some feline mental twist
Would rather hunt the lepidopterist.
That’s why I never adopted lepidoptery
I do not wish to live in jeopardoptery.

I’m not much of a poetry fan, but one poet I do like is Ogden Nash. One day, Dad shared a book of Nash’s poetry with me, The Private Dining Room, a collection of the poems he wrote for The New Yorker prior to 1952, which was when the book was published. There were a couple of poems in there that dealt with Old Dr. Valentine, including this one, "Old Dr. Valentine To His Son":

Your hopeless patients will live,
Your healthy patients will die.
I have only this word to give:
Wonder, and find out why.

And there was this limerick:

Dr. Valentine wishes to announce
He’s making fantastic amounts,
He’s invented a bra
Called Peps-Ooh-La-La
That delivers more bounce to the ounce.

There were many other poems in that collection, some of which I only know the first couple of lines, like the one that starts "I don’t travel on planes, I travel on trains."

Dad died not long after sharing that book with me. I remember I kept it for a long time after.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word about Silva Thins regular and menthol cigarettes. Lower in tar and nicotine than all other 100’s!

18 thoughts on “Ogden Nash #socs

  1. Hi John – Ogden Nash … thanks for reminding me about him. Great post bringing some light relief … your father gave you an excellent book – with happy memories for you. Stay safe – Hilary


  2. He was quite clever and often wise. I remember the Auk poem from a long time ago. “Consider man, who may well become extinct Because he forgot how to walk and learned how to fly before he thinked.” Still a warning to heed.


    1. They should teach Ogden Nash in high school. A lot of students (boys especially) grew to hate poetry because of the way it’s taught and the emphasis on the romantic poets, not to mention e e cummings. There were some great poets that wrote poetry that might appeal to boys (Robert W. Service, Banjo Paterson, Rudyard Kipling, Ogden Nash, Carl Sandburg) that don’t get covered enough…

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  3. Hi, John!

    I enjoyed those poems, especially the one promising “more bounce to the ounce.” 🙂 Those old cigarette ads are instructive and at the same time cringeworthy. They remind us how Madison Ave. tried to portray smokers as glamorous and worldly, people who are attractive to the opposite sex. I’m thinking Lucy Ball (in your other post) should have switched from Chesterfield Kings to Silva Thins before her voice turned so smoky.

    Have a great weekend, good buddy John, and thanks for coming to see me at Shady’s Place!


  4. No surprise that you like Ogden Nash. He’s far and away my favorite poet, much to the chagrin of my real-poet friends. In high school chorus, we sang a medley of a few of his poems set to music. My favorites:

    “The ostrich roams the great Sahara.
    Its legs are long, its neck is narra.
    It has such long and lofty legs,
    I’m glad it sits to lay its eggs.”

    “God, in His wisdom, made the fly,
    And then forgot to tell us why.”


    1. The commercial is from the mid- to late ’60’s. I don’t think they cared much in the ’50’s. Silva Thins had great commercials, I thought, with this real secret agent vibe…

      Liked by 1 person

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