Frederic Ogden Nash: Poems

Why do different versions of "The Adventures of Isabel" exist?


I'm a German student of English and I'm writing my term paper amongst others about the poem "The Adventures of Isabel" by Ogden Nash.

During my research, I found different versions of this poem.

In "The Puffin Book of Nonsense Verse" by Quentin Blake, "The Adventures of Isabel" contains 57 lines, including the part when Isabel "meets" the "horrible dream" (l. 41-50) and the last stanza about the message to the (child-)reader how to react, when he or she meets a "bugaboo" (l. 51-57).

The last stanza differs from the previous ones in formal and content aspects. I thought about this as a justification, why it is left out in various versions in the internet. However, I didn't found an answer, why the situation with the dream lacks as well.

Does anyone have a comprehensible response?

Thanking you in anticipation!


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A far as I understand, the original poem was written in the 1930's. It has hence gone through various versions depending on the many publications it has been included in. Some publications omit or change the rather violent parts. Some moralizing stanzas  ('Don't scream when the bugaboo says, `Boo!'/ Just look it in the eye and say, `Boo to you!') are not included in different versions because they are said to be have added decades later later.