Frederic Ogden Nash: Poems

Other poems

Nash was a baseball fan, and he wrote a poem titled "Line-Up for Yesterday", an alphabetical poem listing baseball immortals.[11] Published in Sport magazine in January 1949, the poem pays tribute to the baseball greats and to his own fandom, in alphabetical order. Here is a sampling from his A to Z list:[12]

C is for Cobb, Who grew spikes and not corn, And made all the basemen Wish they weren't born.
D is for Dean, The grammatical Diz, When they asked, Who's the tops? Said correctly, I is.
E is for Evers, His jaw in advance; Never afraid To Tinker with Chance.
F is for Fordham And Frankie and Frisch; I wish he were back With the Giants, I wish.

Nash particularly loved Baltimore sports teams.

Nash wrote humorous poems for each movement of the Camille Saint-Saëns orchestral suite The Carnival of the Animals, which are sometimes recited when the work is performed. The original recording of this version was made by Columbia Records in the 1940s, with Noël Coward reciting the poems and Andre Kostelanetz conducting the orchestra.

He wrote a humorous poem about the IRS and income tax titled Song for the Saddest Ides (a reference to April 15, the ides of April, although historically the ides of April was on the 13th). It was later set to music and performed by the IRS chorale until its composer/conductor's later retirement.

Many of his poems, reflecting the times in which they were written, presented stereotypes of different nationalities. For example in Genealogical Reflections he writes:

No McTavish
Was ever Lavish

In The Japanese published in 1938, Nash presents an allegory for the expansionist policies of the Empire of Japan:

How courteous is the Japanese
He always says, Excuse it, please
He climbs into his neighbor’s garden
And smiles, and says, I beg your pardon
He bows and grins a friendly grin
And calls his hungry family in
He grins, and bows a friendly bow
So sorry, this my garden now

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