O. Nash 

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

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

On Life 
Lines on Facing Forty 

I have a bone to pick with fate,
Come here and tell me girly,
Do you think my mind is maturing late,
Or simply rotting early.
 

Crossing the Border 

Senescence begins
And middle age ends 
The day your descendents
Outnumber your friends.
 

Peekabo, I Almost See You 

Middle-aged life is merry, and I love to lead it,
But there comes a day when your eyes are all right but your arm
isn't long enough to hold the telephone book where you can read it,
And your friends get jocular, so you go to the oculist,
And of all your friends he is the joculist,
So over his facetiousness let us skim,
Only noting that he has been waiting for you ever since you said
Good evening to his grandfather clock under the impression
that it was him,
And you look at his chart and it says SHRDLU QWERTYOP, and
you say Well, why SHRDNTLU QWERTYOP? and he says one
set of glasses won't do.
You need two.
One for reading Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason and Keats's
"Endymion" with,
And the other for walking around without saying Hello to strange
wymion with.
So you spend your time taking off your seeing glasses to put on
your reading glasses, and then remembering that your reading
glasses are upstairs or in the car,
And then you can't find your seeing glasses again because without
them on you can't see where they are.
Enough of such misshaps, they would try the patience of an ox,
I prefer to forget both pairs of glasses and pass my declining
years saluting strange women and grandfather clocks.
 

Old Men 

People expect old men to die,
They do not really mourn old men.
Old men are different. People look
At them with eyes that wonder when ...
People watch with unshocked eyes;
But the old men know when an old man dies. 
 

The following poem, written near the end of Ogden Nash's life, was graciously sent to me by his grand-daughter Frances Rider Smith:

Untitled 

Enter, breath;
Breath, slip out;
Blood, be channeled,
And wind about.
O, blessed breath and blood which strive
To keep this body of mine alive!
O gallant breath and blood
Which choose
To wage the battle
They must lose.
 

Link to a photo of Ogden Nash's Grave Marker at East Side Cemetery, North Hampton, New Hampshire


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