Yes! The “Golden Trashery of Ogden Nashery”

        We’ve had some fun a short ways back exchanging some “punny” stories.  Here is one that I have shared with some “blog buddies” but may still bear repetition, as it probably trumps all others such for cleverness:

Did you hear about the dyslexic agnostic insomniac?  You know, the guy who stayed up all night worrying about the existence of Dog.

Just a couple days ago, during our visit with our dear family friend,  Marjorie Farmer, she presented me with a gift from our delayed Christmas exchange/get together.

This was the newest collection,  edited by Linell Nash Smith, one of his two daughters, of the verses (I find it hard to call his or most of my similar efforts “Poems”) of Ogden Nash (1902-1971), whose work I have always admired and very occasionally imitated.   I was surprised to learn from Marjorie that she was a “distant cousin” of Ogden Nash’s and remembered that she had heard talk of his family in her early years.

I mentioned to Marjorie that I had especially come to like and admire Nash’s facility and wit during my years as a high school English teacher and had made a habit of sharing his “poems” about species in nature  with my students, even suggesting to them that they try to imitate (if not emulate) such of these as they liked.

In this newest anthology,  “The Best of Ogden Nash,”  I counted 86 examples of his work under the general title,  “The Nashional Menagerie.”  Here are a couple of my utmost favorites for your enjoyment:


The panther is like a leopard,

Except it hasn’t been peppered.

Should you behold a panther crouch,

Prepare to say Ouch.

Better yet, if called by a panther

Don’t anther.


The turtle lives twixt plated decks

Which practically conceal its sex.

I think it clever of the turtle

In such a fix to be so fertile.

Maybe you have some other favorites in this vein; that is, clever bits of verse about denizens of the natural world.  If so, the time has come to share them!



10 Responses to “Yes! The “Golden Trashery of Ogden Nashery””

  1. Tammy Stephens Says:

    You’ve been quiet, glad you posted again.
    My favorite poet…

    The Cow in Apple Time
    by Robert Frost

    Something inspires the only cow of late
    To make no more of a wall than an open gate,
    And think no more of wall-builders than fools.
    Her face is flecked with pomace and she drools
    A cider syrup. Having tasted fruit,
    She scorns a pasture withering to the root.
    She runs from tree to tree where lie and sweeten.
    The windfalls spiked with stubble and worm-eaten.
    She leaves them bitten when she has to fly.
    She bellows on a knoll against the sky.
    Her udder shrivels and the milk goes dry.

  2. pen Says:

    “Mine is a long and a sad tale!” said the Mouse, turning to Alice, and sighing.
    “It is a long tail, certainly,” said Alice, looking down with wonder at the Mouse’s tail; “but why do you call it sad?”

    “Fury said to
    a mouse, That
    he met
    in the
    ‘Let us
    both go
    to law:
    I will
    Come, I’ll
    take no
    We must
    have a
    to do.’
    Said the
    mouse to
    the cur,
    ‘Such a
    dear sir,
    With no
    jury or
    would be
    our breath.’
    ‘I’ll be
    I’ll be
    old Fury;
    ‘I’ll try
    the whole
    death.’ ”

    Not the same without the formatting. See here:

  3. Frank B Maness,Jr. Says:

    Pen, If you build a better mousetrap, some rat will try to steal it from you!!

  4. Raymond Rundus Says:

    Thanks be to Dink, Pen, and Tammy for their comments on my posting of “The Golden Trashery of Ogden Nashery.” That quotation, I should have earlier indicated, was Nash’s own label for one of his anthologies, done obviously while he was still living.

    Pen, I gather that Lewis Carroll is one of your favorite authors, as he is mine. A high school stint in my early teaching career prompted me to use his famous piece of “Nonsense Verse,” “Jabberwocky,” and to assign the students in my junior year course to write imitations of it. Was quite a success: I later turned that experience into an essay titled “O Frabjous Day! Introducing Poetry” that was published in the “English Journal” in the mid-1960s.

    Tammy, I did not know “The Cow in Apple Time” by Frost. It is great! Thanks much for sending it along and also for your nudging me to write more often. I has prompted me to do a “blog” posting about the Cow in English Poetry (I wrote on that topic quite a while back, but I may now have some newer readers who’ve not seen it. So I close for now.


  5. Tammy Stephens Says:

    We just enjoy reading your blog.

  6. Jessie McNeill Says:

    Dr. RJR,
    I do enjoy your literary expressions. I was in one some of your graduate classes at Pembroke when the graduate program in English began. I enjoyed your classes si much and we still talk about your interest and knowledge of our language.

  7. Getting a Better Grip on Reading and Writing » Blog Archive » Would “McNeill” By Any Other Name . . . ? Says:

    […] > […]

  8. dennis Says:

    Dr. Rundus, I’m curious as to whether or not you have read the book *Freakonomics*. Steven Levitt discusses the impact the name one is given at birth has on one’s life.

  9. Eric Smith Says:


    One of my favorite t-shirt slogans reads “Dyslexics Untie!”

  10. Eric Smith Says:

    And I still laugh when I remember you holding up your index finger in a meeting and proclaiming with great weight, “The thought plickens!”

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