Posted by Michael Happy on August 19th, 2010
Ogden Nash reading “I Never Even Suggested It’
Today is Ogden Nash‘s birthday (1902 – 1971).
Frye in The Well-Tempered Critic
Works of intentional doggerel are usually satire, and digression and constant change of theme and mood are structural principles of satire. Again, we are approaching the creative process, the associative babble out of which poetry comes, but, as with euphuism, are approaching it deliberately and in reverse, as it were. What makes intentional doggerel funny is its implied parody of real doggerel, or incompetent attempts at verse: the struggle for rhythms, even to the mispronouncing of words, the dragging in of ideas for the sake of rhyme, the distorting of syntax in squeezing words into metre. Again, as in euphuism, a normally subconscious process becomes witty by transforming it to consciousness. [As in this poem by Nash.]
The creature fills its mouth with venom
And walks upon its duodenum
He who attempts the tease the cobra
Is soon a wiser he, and a sobra.