Frederic Ogden Nash: Poems Summary

Frederic Ogden Nash: Poems Summary

Spring Comes to Murray Hill

The very first poem that Nash ever published in the New Yorker is a typical mixture of Seussian invention of words that are directed brilliantly toward the subject at hand: in this case asking himself why a writer of his inventiveness was wasting that talent writing inane advertising copy.

The Carcarjou and the Kincajou

In which the two strangely-named animals come to blows as a result of laughing at each other’s ridiculous name.

The Termite

A termite got hungry and Cousin May paid the price with one wrong step on the floor.

The Hippopotamus

A poem asking readers to consider how we look to the animal that we consider strange in appearance.

The Hunter

In which the hunter in his blind is revealed to be going to one heck of an awful lot of trouble just to outwit a duck.

A Word to Husbands

The advice: admit it when you’re wrong and shut up when you’re right.


They have literally been around since the genesis of man.

Samson Agonistes

In which a man wonders why water tested with a finger doesn’t feel cold, but when you put some more sensitive body parts in after testing, the water is revealed to be quite frigid.

The Canteloupe

In which the narrator wishes he had some medical device to determine the state of ripeness through the rind before purchase.

Summer Serenade

A satire on all those poems that express summer in such glorious imagery, reminding readers that July is hot, sticky and altogether unpleasant as a condition for love.

The Centipede

The poet rebukes the very existence of the centipede as serving no purpose as well as being difficult to kill.

The Solitary Huntsman

Another revelation of the unerring poet’s eye when directed toward ridiculous concept of calling hunting small animals a “sport.”

Always Marry and April Girl

The poem extolls in almost overzealous language the supreme joys of a girl named April.


Not exactly a requiem, but a limerick about a girl from Natchez and her habit of scratches that lead to holes in her clothes.

The Romantic Age

Not a literary era, but that special time of life when a girl starts to dream of being a bride.

The Lion

The lion eats Mr. Bryan. The lioness eats the Bryaness.

The Firefly

Weird creature, the firefly. What if people glowed from their behind?

Grandpa is Ashamed

From whom a child learns that “later” is synonymous with “never.”

The Purist

Professor Twist, upon learning that his wife had been eaten by a jungle alligator and his first response is to correct the messenger by educating him that he meant crocodile.

The People Upstairs

Whom the poet could learn to love despite their pervasive loudness…if only they were the people downstairs.

Update this section!

You can help us out by revising, improving and updating this section.

Update this section

After you claim a section you’ll have 24 hours to send in a draft. An editor will review the submission and either publish your submission or provide feedback.