Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Who Wrote This?

As much as I like Ogden Nash, he gets entirely too much credit for most of the nonsense verse written in the first half of the 20th century.

Ask a group who wrote this:

Shake and shake
the catsup bottle
first none’ll come
and then a lot’ll.

You’ll most likely hear “Ogden Nash.” Not so. That’s Richard Armour.

Then there’s this brief chuckler, also always erroneously attributed to Nash:

Epitaph to a Waiter

By and by
God caught his eye.

This one is written by David McCord, who has with other poets fallen into that Ogden Nash-shaped hole that is nonsense poetry in the United States. (I don’t say this to detract from Mr. Nash, whose poems I enjoy; it’s merely a fact of life that any nonsense verse written in the first half of the 20th century is attributed to him, whether he like it or not.)

Mr. McCord appears to have but one fan on YouTube, a rather squeaky-voiced, over t-shirtted tot reciting another of his poems.

Other than that, he appears to be the Rodney Dangerfield of nonsense poetry.

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