Biography of Ogden Nash
Fredric Ogden Nash was an American humorist who lived from 1902 to 1971.
He was born in 1902 in Rye, New York, where he grew up with well educated
parents. Microsoft Encarta 95 said that his parents names were Edmund Strudwick
Nash and Mattie Nash. During his childhood years, Nash was educated at several
private schools. At these schools, he enjoyed writing his own comical and
dramatic free verse poems.
After graduating out of grammar school, Nash moved on to one of the best
private high schools in the east: St. George's in Newport, Rhode Island.
Moving on in his life, he enrolled at Harvard at the age of 18 (from 1920-1921).
Contemporary American Poets stated that Nash then took a job in the
editorial and publicity department at the Doubleday and Doran Publishing Company.
He worked very hard at this position, moving up the "executive" ladder very
quickly. In only 5 years of work, he became a well-known editor around the
publishing business. Nash then realized that his name was known all over the
publishing companies; and he started to compose works of free verse.
Mindscape Complete Reference Library CD stated that 1931 was the
greatest year of Nash's life. In June, he married Frances Rider Leonard of
Baltimore, Maryland. Also in 1931, he published two books of free verse:
"Hard Lines" and "Free Wheeling." Contemporary American Poets made an
interesting statement on these first two books by Nash: "These two books show
poetry of remarkable freedom of scansion (rhythm pattern) and uncoventional
feelings of thoughts." Contemporary American Poets showed clearly that Nash
"paved" the way for authors of free verse with absolutely no pattern.
After working on other poetry books such as Happy Days (1933), The Bad
Parent's Garden of Verse (1936), and I'm a Stranger Here Myself (1938), Nash
retired from his job at Doubleday to focus all of his time on writing free verse.
He went on to write many poems, all being free verse. Some were serious, but
most of them were humorous. Other examples of his collections include: Good
Intentions (1942), Versus (1949), Family Reunion (1950), Parents Keep Out (1951),
The Moon Is Shining Bright as Day (1953), The Private Dining Room (1953), You
Can't Get There from Here (1957), Everyone but Thee and Me (1962), Marriage
Lines (1964), Cruise of the Aardvark (1967), There's Always Another Windmill
(1968), and Bed Riddance (1968).
Contemporary American Poets also said that Nash appeared in a dozen
periodicals and in Hearst's New York Journal. It also stated that Nash had to
pretend to be funnier than he really is, and he has to be funny when he wants to
Microsoft Encarta 95 said that Nash also wrote the musical comedy One
Touch of Venus (1943) in collaboration with the humorist S. J. Perelman and the
composer Kurt Weill.
Contemporary American Poets stated that Nash had blond curly hair,
glasses, and was adept at reciting his unpublished verse.
Ogden Nash was the prolific producer and one of the founders of humorous
verse. He passed away in 1971 at his Baltimore home.