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Ogden Nash

Frederick Ogden Nash

Poet, Writer, Lyricist

(1902 - 1971)

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Washington Post

Ogden Nash was a poet of immense popularity who also garnered broad critical acclaim for his whimsical verse. After attending Harvard for a year and then holding down a variety of jobs, he joined Doubleday as a copy editor in 1925. He published his first poem in the New Yorker in 1930, and by 1931 his first collection of poems, Hard Lines, sold out seven printings in the first year. The following year he joined the staff of the New Yorker and is credited with contributing to its humorous tone.

The subject of his poems touched on a wide range of subjects and varied in length from one line to several pages. The appeal of his work lay in his understanding of human nature and his ability to see the humor even in issues of great import. He occasionally took conservative politicians and religious moralizers to task in his satirical poems. Much to the amusement of his readers he often coined words, as in “If called by a panther/don’t anther.” His popularity was international, and his lectures both at home and abroad were well attended. During the ‘40s and ‘50s he was a frequent guest on radio and television comedy and game shows.

Nash also wrote several books and collections of poems for children. None of his screenplays were produced, but he collaborated with S.J. Perelman on the book and with composer Kurt Weill on the lyrics for the 1943 Broadway musical One Touch of Venus. It was a smashing success and gave us the magnificent song “Speak Low.” The show was made into a movie in 1948, starring Robert Walker and Ava Gardner.

In his commencement address to his daughter’s school, Nash summed up his outlook on life, saying that humanity’s best chance for survival lay in humor, “which in this case means a wry acceptance of our predicament.”

- Sandra Burlingame

Speak Low

Lew Soloff

Speak Low

Laurindo Almeida & Bud Shank

Speak Low

Paul Brown Quartet

Speak Low

Rick Holland, Kerry Strayer Quartet
Reading and Viewing

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Douglas M. Parker

Ogden Nash: The Life and Work of America's Laureate of Light Verse

Ivan R. Dee, Publisher

Ogden Nash

Candy Is Dandy

Carlton Books Ltd

David Stuart

The Life and Rhymes of Ogden Nash

Madison Books

Robert Walker, Ava Gardner, Dick Haymes, Eve Arden

One Touch of Venus

Lions Gate


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