Quotations by Nash, Ogden


There is something about a Martini,
A tingle remarkably pleasant;
A yellow, a mellow Martini;
I wish I had one at present.
There is something about a Martini,
Ere the dining and dancing begin,
And to tell you the truth,
It is not the vermouth —
I think that perhaps it’s the gin.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
“A Drink with Something In It,” The Primrose Path (1935)
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Added on 17-Nov-17 | Last updated 17-Nov-17
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To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever you’re right, shut up.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
“A Word to Husbands,” Marriage Lines (1964)
Added on 14-Feb-14 | Last updated 14-Feb-14
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Oh, what a tangled web do parents weave
When they think that their children are naive.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
“Baby, What Makes the Sky Blue?” (1940)
Added on 26-Oct-07 | Last updated 26-Oct-07
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At another year
I would not boggle,
Except when I jog
I joggle.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
“Birthday on the Beach,” You Can’t Get There from Here (1957)
Added on 27-Oct-11 | Last updated 27-Oct-11
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Senescence begins
And middle age ends
The day your descendents
Outnumber your friends.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
“Crossing the Border”
Added on 23-May-13 | Last updated 23-May-13
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I find it very difficult to enthuse

Over the current news.

Just when you think that at least the outlook is so black that it can grow no blacker, it worsens,

And that is why I do not like the news, because there has never been an era when so many things were going so right for so many of the wrong persons.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
“Everybody Tells Me Everything,” The Face Is Familiar (1940)
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Added on 24-Jul-20 | Last updated 24-Jul-20
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Man is a victim of dope
In the incurable form of hope.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
“Good-bye, Old Year, You Oaf, or Why Don’t They Pay the Bonus?” (1935)
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Added on 10-Jul-20 | Last updated 10-Jul-20
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Every New Year is the direct descendant, isn’t it, of a long line of proven criminals?

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
“Good-bye, Old Year, You Oaf, or Why Don’t They Pay the Bonus?” (1935)
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Added on 17-Jul-20 | Last updated 17-Jul-20
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Senator Smoot is an institute
Not to be bribed with pelf;
He guards our homes from erotic tomes
By reading them all himself.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
“Invocation,” New Yorker (Jan 1930)
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Nash's poem was about US Senator Reed Smoot (R-Utah) (1862-1941), who had announced an effort in his tariff bill to ban the importation of pornography, leading to headlines of "Smoot Smites Smut." The bill went on to become the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, passed in June 1930.
Added on 18-Sep-20 | Last updated 18-Sep-20
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Here is a dream.
It is my dream,
My own dream,
I dreamt it.
I dreamt that my hair was kempt,
Then I dreamt that my true love unkempt it.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
“My Dream” (1954), You Can’t Get There from Here (1957)
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Added on 7-Aug-20 | Last updated 7-Aug-20
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It is common knowledge to every schoolboy and even every Bachelor of Arts,

That all sin is divided into two parts.

One kind of sin is called a sin of commission, and that is very important

And it is what you are doing when you are doing something you ortant.

And the other kind of sin is just the opposite and is called a sin of omission and is equally bad in the eyes of all right-thinking people, from Billy Sunday to Buddha,

And it consists of not having done something you shudda.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
“Portrait of the Artist as a Prematurely Old Man”
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Added on 14-Aug-20 | Last updated 28-Aug-20
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The moral is that it is probably better not to sin at all, but if
some kind of sin you must be pursuing,

Well, remember to do it by doing rather than by not doing.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
“Portrait of the Artist as a Prematurely Old Man” (1959)
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Added on 28-Aug-20 | Last updated 1-Sep-20
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Here is a good rule of thumb
Too clever is dumb.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
“Reflections on Ingenuity,” Many Long Years Ago (1945)
Added on 10-Apr-09 | Last updated 10-Apr-09
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There was a young belle of old Natchez
Whose garments were always in patchez.
When comment arose
On the state of her clothes,
She drawled, When Ah itchez, Ah scratchez.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
“Requiem” (1938)
Added on 12-Apr-17 | Last updated 12-Apr-17
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And I have no desire to get ugly,

But I cannot help mentioning that the door of a bigoted mind opens outwards so that the only result of the pressure of facts upon it is to close it more snugly.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
“Seeing Eye to Eye is Believing,” Good Intentions (1942)
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Added on 29-May-20 | Last updated 19-Jun-20
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When people reject a truth or an untruth it is not because it is a truth or an untruth that they reject it,

No, if it isn’t in accord with their beliefs in the first place they simply say, “Nothing doing,” and refuse to inspect it.

Likewise when they embrace a truth or an untruth it is not for either its truth or its mendacity,

But simply because they have believed it all along and therefore regard the embrace as a tribute to their own fair-mindedness and sagacity.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
“Seeing Eye to Eye is Believing,” Good Intentions (1942)
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Added on 19-Jun-20 | Last updated 19-Jun-20
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Everybody has something about which they are proud to be broad-minded but they also have other things about which you would be wasting your breath if you tried to convince them that they were a bigot.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
“Seeing Eye to Eye is Believing,” Good Intentions (1942)
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Added on 26-Jun-20 | Last updated 26-Jun-20
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Naturally I am not pointing a finger at me,

But I must admit that I find Mr. Ickes or any other speaker far more convincing when I agree with him than when I disagree.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
“Seeing Eye to Eye is Believing,” Good Intentions (1942)
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Added on 3-Jul-20 | Last updated 3-Jul-20
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The grackle’s voice is less than mellow,
His heart is black, his eye is yellow,
He bullies more attractive birds
With hoodlum deeds and vulgar words,
And should a human interfere,
Attacks that human in the rear.
I cannot help but deem the grackle
An ornithological debacle.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
“The Grackle”
Added on 2-Mar-15 | Last updated 2-Mar-15
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Behold the hippopotamus!
We laugh at how he looks to us,
And yet in moments dank and grim,
I wonder how we look to him.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
“The Hippopotamus”
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Added on 11-Sep-20 | Last updated 11-Sep-20
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I give you now Professor Twist,
A conscientious scientist.
Trustees exclaimed, “He never bungles!”
And sent him off to distant jungles.
Camped on a tropic riverside,
One day he missed his loving bride.
She had, the guide informed him later,
Been eaten by an alligator.
Professor Twist could not but smile.
“You mean,” he said, “a crocodile.”

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
“The Purist”
Added on 24-Aug-16 | Last updated 24-Aug-16
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Too clever is dumb.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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Children aren’t happy without something to ignore,
And that’s what parents were created for.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance
Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
(Attributed)

Quoted in Reader’s Digest (Jun 1967)
Added on 17-Dec-07 | Last updated 17-Dec-07
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Candy
Is dandy
But liquor
Is quicker.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
Hard Lines, “Reflections on Ice-Breaking” (1931)
Added on 18-Nov-08 | Last updated 18-Nov-08
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Among other things I think humor is a shield, a weapon, a survival kit. Not only has this brief span of ours been threatened by such perils not of our making such as fire and flood, Tyrannosaurus Rex, the black death, and hurricanes named after chorus girls, but we have been most ingenious in devising means for destroying each other, a habit we haven’t yet learned how to kick.

So here we are several billion of us, crowded into our global concentration camp for the duration. How are we to survive? Solemnity is not the answer, any more than witless and irresponsible frivolity is. I think our best chance lies in humor, which in this case means a wry acceptance of our predicament. We don’t have to like it but we can at least recognize its ridiculous aspects, one of which is ourselves.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
Commencement address at his daughter Linell’s boarding school
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Quoted in Douglas M. Parker, Dana Giaoia, Ogden Nash: The Life and Work of America's Laureate of Light (2005).
Added on 4-Sep-20 | Last updated 4-Sep-20
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He without benefit of scruples
His fun and money soon quadruples.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
In The Selected Verse of Ogden Nash (1945)
Added on 1-Jul-16 | Last updated 1-Jul-16
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More quotes by Nash, Ogden