O. Nash 

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

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

On Marriage 
Always Marry an April Girl 

Praise the spells and bless the charms,
I found April in my arms.
April golden, April cloudy,
Gracious, cruel, tender, rowdy;
April soft in flowered languor,
April cold with sudden anger,
Ever changing, ever true --
I love April, I love you. 

I Do, I Will, I Have 

How wise I am to have instructed the butler to instruct the first footman
to instruct the second footman to instruct the doorman to order my
I am about to volunteer a definition of marriage.
Just as I know that there are two Hagens, Walter and Copen,
I know that marriage is a legal and religious alliance entered into by a
man who can't sleep with the window shut and a woman who can't
sleep with the window open.
Moreover, just as I am unsure of the difference between flora and fauna
and flotsam and jetsam,
I am quite sure that marriage is the alliance of two people one of whom
never remembers birthdays and the other never forgetsam,
And he refuses to believe there is a leak in the water pipe or the gas pipe
and she is convinced she is about to asphyxiate or drown,
And she says Quick get up and get my hairbrushes off the windowsill,
it's raining in, and he replies Oh they're all right, it's only raining
straight down.
That is why marriage is so much more interesting than divorce,
Because it's the only known example of the happy meeting of the
immovable object and the irresistible force.
So I hope husbands and wives will continue to debate and combat over
everything debatable and combatable,
Because I believe a little incompatibility is the spice of life, particulary if
he has income and she is pattable.

  • Note: Walter Hagen was golf's first superstar during the 1920's and 30's. Copen Hagen? The capital of Denmark.

Reflection on Caution 

Affection is a noble quality;
It leads to generosity and jollity.
But it also leads to breach of promise
If you go around lavishing it on red-hot momise 

Return to: Selected Poems by Ogden Nash