Ogden Nash


Ogden Nash is buried at East Side Cemetery, North Hampton, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, USA.

Ogden Nash's Gravestone

Nash was born at Rye, New York - the son of an import-export company manager. He was educated at St George's School on Rhode Island and at Harvard - but he only completed his first year of university before dropping out. He worked for a while as a teacher, an editor and an advertising executive before becoming a freelance writer.

The first of his many collections of light verse, Hard Lines, appeared in 1931. His other collections included: I'm a Stranger Here Myself (1938), Many Long Years Ago (1945) and You Can't Get There from Here (1957).

From 1936-42 he wrote screenplays for Hollywood. He was also a lyric writer and collaborated with composer Kurt Weill and librettist S.J. Perelman on One Touch of Venus. He also produced lyrics for the 1952 revue Two's Company.

After marrying Frances Leonard in 1931 and having children he started to write poetry for children - a discipline that he was very successful at. In many ways he was the American Edward Lear.

He moved to Baltimore in 1934 and began to follow the Baltimore Colts who inspired him to write verses which appeared in an article by Life Magazine in December 1968.

Nash was famous for his ingenious and elaborate rhymes which often involved neologisms e.g. 'A girl who is bespectacled/She may not get her nectacled'. He was best known for his short verses such as 'Candy/Is dandy/But liquor/Is quicker - but he was equally at home with long poems such as You Bet Travel is Broadening and Very Like a Whale. The latter featured some outrageously assymetrical lines such as: 'And they always say things like the snow is a white blanket after a winter storm./ Oh it it, is it, all right then you sleep under a six-inch blanket of snow and I'll sleep under a half-inch blanket of unpoetical blanket material and we'll see which one keeps warm,'. He also wrote epigrams and other humorous pieces.

He made frequent guest appearances on radio and he toured the US and England giving lectures at colleges and universities.

He died from Crohn's disease at Johns Hospital in Baltimore aged 68.

There is a biography by Douglas M. Parker which first appeared in 2005.

A Word to Husbands

To keep your marriage brimming
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever you’re right, shut up.






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