Happy birthday, P. G. Wodehouse

October 15, 2020

In honor of the birthday of one of my favorite authors, here is a book review in verse by one of my favorite poets.

PG Wooster, Just As He Useter
by Ogden Nash

Bound to your bookseller, leap to your library,
Deluge your dealer with bakshish and bribary,
Lean on the counter and never say when,
Wodehouse and Wooster are with us again.

Flourish the fish-slice, your buttons unloosing,
Prepare for the fabulous browsing and sluicing,
And quote, til you’re known as the neighborhood nuisance,
The gems that illumine the browsance and sluicance.

Oh, fondle each gem, and after you quote it,
Kindly inform me just who wrote it.
Which came first, the egg or the rooster?
PG Wodehouse or Bertram Wooster?

I know hawk from handsaw, and Finn from Fiji,
But I can’t disentangle Bertram from PG.
I inquire in the school room, I ask in the road house,
Did Wodehouse write Wooster, or Wooster Wodehouse?

Bertram Wodehouse and PG Wooster,
They are linked in my mind like Simon and Schuster.
No matter which fumbled in ’41,
Or which the woebegone figure of fun.

I deduce how the faux pas came about,
It was clearly Jeeves’s afternoon out.
Now Jeeves is back, and my cheeks are crumply
From watching him glide through Steeple Bumpleigh.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975)

Ogden Nash (1902-1971)


A poem for Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2018

More than a catbird hates a cat,
Or a criminal hates a clue,
Or the Axis hates the United States,
That’s how much I love you.

I love you more than a duck can swim,
And more than a grapefruit squirts,
I love you more than gin rummy is a bore,
And more than a toothache hurts.

As a shipwrecked sailor hates the sea,
Or a juggler hates a shove,
As a hostess detests uninvited guests,
That’s how much you I love.

I love you more than a wasp can sting,
And more than the subway jerks,
I love you as much as a cripple needs a crutch,
And more than a hangnail irks.

I swear to you by the stars above,
And below, if such there be,
As the High Court loathes perjurious oaths,
That’s how much you’re loved by me.

–Ogden Nash (1902-1971)


Out with the old, in with the new

December 31, 2017


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