Sunday, August 19, 2012

Happy Birthday, Ogden

Ogden Nash
Born this day in 1902... Ogden Nash

Everybody knows his funny stuff, but he also wrote more poignant things. Here's one of my favorites (some of the others are very long, like Isabel and Custard the dragon) and another I like. There are a few more here (and lots more here):

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 Beggar
after William Blake

Beggar, beggar, burning low
In the city's trodden snow,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy dread asymmetry?

In what distant deep of lies
Died the fire of thine eyes?
What the mind that planned the shame?
What the hand dare quench the flame?

And what shoulder and what art
Could rend the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to fail,
What soft excuse, what easy tale?

What the hammer? What the chain?
What the furnace dulled thy brain?
What the anvil? What the blow
Dare to forge this deadly woe?

When the business cycle ends
In flaming extra dividends,
Will He smile his work to see?
Did He who made the Ford make thee?

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