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Life and Rhymes of Ogden Nash

Overview

Ogden Nash was a rare poet. He celebrated the ordinary with delight and curiosity: husbands and wives at work, children at play, a society in motion. He studied popular culture with a penetrating eye and wrote about America, its icons, habits, and affectations with humor and levity. He struggled with comparisons to “serious” poets, those heroes of the canon who abandoned the rhyme and meter that Nash found crucial to his style of writing. His witty, insightful, and graceful vignettes captured those moments in ...
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The Life and Rhymes of Ogden Nash: A Biography

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Overview

Ogden Nash was a rare poet. He celebrated the ordinary with delight and curiosity: husbands and wives at work, children at play, a society in motion. He studied popular culture with a penetrating eye and wrote about America, its icons, habits, and affectations with humor and levity. He struggled with comparisons to “serious” poets, those heroes of the canon who abandoned the rhyme and meter that Nash found crucial to his style of writing. His witty, insightful, and graceful vignettes captured those moments in life that defy heavy-handed treatment.

Nash did not live out the stereotype of the aloof poet-recluse. In addition to his writing, Nash pursued publishing, screenwriting, and a rigorous lecture circuit. This self-styled poet of wide appeal appeared in newspapers and magazines found in homes across the country, accessible publications such as Life, The New Yorker, Cosmopolitan, Sports Illustrated, Reader’s Digest, and McCall’s. At a time when children’s literature meant Winnie-the-Pooh, Nash produced verses for and about young people that amused, educated, and more important, didn’t pander or lecture. These poems and collections, including Custard the Dragon, The New Nutcracker Suite and Other Innocent Verses, A Boy Is a Boy, and Girls Are Silly, were classics of the genre.

Nash left behind an invaluable body of work: charming, clever, and utterly unique.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568331270
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/2000
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

David Stuart was the pseudonym of Edwin P. Hoyt, who also wrote history books and novels under his own name. A number of literary biographies have appeared under the Stuart name, including Alan Watts and O. Henry. Edwin P. Hoyt died in 2005.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction ix
1 The Proper Boyhood of a WASP 1
2 The Young Publisher 7
3 The Poet Begins 17
4 O Underrequited Love! 27
5 The Golden Trashery of Ogden Nashery 35
6 Poet or Publisher? 43
7 Life among the Cognoscenti 53
8 Man about Town 63
9 The Compleat Poet 71
10 The Primrose Path of Ogden Nash 77
11 There's Gold in Them Thar Beverly Hills 87
12 And Now, May I Present That Wealthy Poet, Ogden Nash 99
13 What Does an Aging Poet Do for the War Effort? 109
14 One Touch of Venus Is One Pouch of Gelt 115
15 Stumbling into the Sweet Bye and Bye 123
16 How're You Gonna Win That Pulitzer Prize When Everybody Says You're Unique? 131
17 No More Creamed Chicken, If You Please--or If You Don't 139
18 The High Hopes of a Low Poet 145
19 A Plugged Nickel Says My Polyps Are Cuter Than Yours 153
20 It Takes a Heap of Doggerel to Keep the Home Fires Burning 161
21 From Piddletrenthide to the Preakness 169
22 The Poet Tilts at Windmills 177
23 Dodger Thomas Comes at Last 183
Notes 187
Bibliography 197
Index 201
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