O. Nash 

A Tribute to the Poet, Ogden Nash (1902-1971)

"... my field -- the minor idiocies of humanity" 

On His Children 
First Child ... Second Child  

FIRST 

Be it a girl, or one of the boys, 
It is scarlet all over its avoirdupois, 
It is red, it is boiled; could the obstetrician 
Have possibly been a lobstertrician? 
His degrees and credentials were hunky-dory, 
But how's for an infantile inventory? 
Here's the prodigy, here's the miracle! 
Whether its head is oval or spherical, 
You rejoice to find it has only one, 
Having dreaded a two-headed daughter or son; 
Here's the phenomenon all complete, 
It's got two hands, it's got two feet, 
Only natural, but pleasing, because 
For months you have dreamed of flippers or claws. 
Furthermore, it is fully equipped: 
Fingers and toes with nails are tipped; 
It's even got eyes, and a mouth clear cut; 
When the mouth comes open the eyes go shut, 
When the eyes go shut, the breath is loosed 
And the presence of lungs can be deduced. 
Let the rockets flash and the cannon thunder, 
This child is a marvel, a matchless wonder. 
A staggering child, a child astounding, 
Dazzling, diaperless, dumbfounding, 
Stupendous, miraculous, unsurpassed, 
A child to stagger and flabbergast, 
Bright as a button, sharp as a thorn, 
And the only perfect one ever born. 
 

SECOND 

Arrived this evening at half-past nine. 
Everybody is doing fine. 
Is it a boy, or quite the reverse? 
You can call in the morning and ask the nurse. 
 

Lines to be Embroidered on a Bib 
OR 
The Child is Father of the Man, But Not For Quite A While 

So Thomas Edison 
Never drank his medicine; 
So Blackstone and Hoyle 
Refused cod-liver oil; 
So Sir Thomas Malory 
Never heard of a calory; 
So the Earl of Lennox 
Murdered Rizzio without the aid of vitamins or calisthenox; 
So Socrates and Plato 
Ate dessert without finishing their potato; 
So spinach was too spinachy 
For Leonardo da Vinaci; 
Well, it's all immaterial, 
So eat your nice cereal, 
And if you want to name your ration, 
First go get a reputation. 
 

Soliloquy in Circles 

Being a father 
Is quite a bother. 

You are as free as air 
With time to spare, 

You're a fiscal rocket 
With change in your pocket, 

And then one morn 
A child is born. 

Your life has been runcible, 
Irresponsible, 

Like an arrow or javelin 
You've been constantly travelin'. 

But mostly, I daresay, 
Without a chaise percée

To which by comparison 
Nothing's embarison. 

But all children matures, 
Maybe even yours. 

You improve them mentally 
And straighten them dentally, 

They grow tall as a lancer 
And ask questions you can't answer, 

And supply you with data 
About how everybody else wears lipstick sooner and stays up later, 

And if they are popular, 
The phone they monopular. 

They scorn the dominion 
Of their parent's opinion, 

They're no longer corralable 
Once they find that you're fallible 

But after you've raised them and educated them and gowned them, 
They just take their little fingers and wrap you around them. 

Being a father 
Is quite a bother, 
But I like it, rather. 
 

The Romantic Age 

This one is entering her teens, 
Ripe for sentimental scenes, 
Has picked a gangling unripe male, 
Sees herself in a bridal veil, 
Presses lips and tosses head, 
Declares she's not too young to wed, 
Informs you pertly you forget 
Romeo and Juliet. 
Do not argue, do not shout; 
Remind her how that one turned out. 


robertg@aenet.org
www.aenet.org 
Return to: Selected Poems by Ogden Nash