Ogden Nash

Ogden Nash

Imagine reading a poem that makes you laugh so hard your belly hurts! That’s the kind of magic Ogden Nash brought into the world. Born on August 19, 1902, Nash was a poet with a special talent for writing silly, fun, and clever poems. And guess what? Many of these poems were perfect for kids!

Who Was Ogden Nash?

Ogden Nash

Ogden Nash grew up in a time when not everyone had a TV or a computer to entertain them. But they had books, and Nash decided early on that he wanted to be a writer. He didn’t grow up thinking he’d be a poet, though. In fact, he started by writing ads! But soon, his talent for making words dance in funny ways made him one of the most loved poets in America.

His Wacky and Wonderful Poems

Nash had a unique way of looking at the world. He liked to play with words, twist them, and sometimes even make up new ones! His poems were short, snappy, and full of surprises. Unlike many poets who liked to use big and fancy words, Nash often chose simple, everyday words but used them in unexpected ways. This is one reason why kids and adults both found his poems so enjoyable.

Take his poem called “Fleas,” for instance, which some consider to be the world’s shortest poem:



This is what Nash did best – he painted pictures with words that made us giggle.

For the Young and Young-at-Heart

While Ogden Nash mostly wrote poems on all kinds of topics for adults, he had a soft spot for children. His poems for kids are like a fun roller coaster ride – full of twists, turns, and ticklish moments.

He wrote poems about animals, like this one called “The Termite,” where he says:

Some primal termite knocked on wood
And tasted it, and found it good,
And that is why your Cousin May
Fell through the parlor floor today.

Can you see how Nash played with words and sounds? It’s like he’s having a fun chat with us through his poems.

Nash also wrote poems about everyday things that kids could relate to, like the challenges of going to bed on time or the mysteries of why parents say certain things.

Books for Young Readers

Ogden Nash's Zoo

Nash didn’t just write single poems for children; he wrote entire books! One of his most famous collections of poetry for children is called Ogden Nash’s Zoo. As you can guess, this book is filled with funny poems about different animals. Each poem gives a hilarious twist to the animals we know and love.

The Tale of Custard the Dragon by Ogden Nash

Other books of his for children include The Tale of Custard the Dragon and The Adventures of Isabel, both of which are hilarious rhyming picture books.

Why His Poems Matter

Some might wonder, why are funny poems important? Well, Nash’s poems do more than just make us laugh. They help kids play with language, understand the rhythm, and enjoy the beauty of words. Plus, because they’re funny, they can make kids who might not normally like reading actually fall in love with it!

Remembering Ogden Nash

Ogden Nash

Ogden Nash passed away on May 19, 1971, but his poems are still alive, making people chuckle and brightening up their days. Schools sometimes use his poems to teach students about poetry because they’re fun and easy to understand. And of course, they’re a big hit during family reading times.

Ogden Nash was a poet who knew how to tickle our funny bone. He looked at the world with child-like wonder and then shared his observations in ways that made us all laugh out loud. Whether he was writing about a curious animal, a daily activity, or just a funny thought, Nash’s poems remind us of the joy of simplicity and the beauty of a good laugh.

So, the next time you’re looking for something fun to read or if you want to try writing a poem yourself, think of Ogden Nash. His playful spirit and love for laughter can inspire us all to see the world in a more fun and poetic way!

Kenn Nesbitt
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