Wednesday, March 9, 2011

First Child ... Second Child, a poem by Ogden Nash.

Post 598 - Ogden Nash was born in 1902 in Rye, New York, and educated at St. George's School in Rhode Island and, briefly, at Harvard University. His first job was writing advertising copy for Doubleday, Page Publishing in 1925 and he published his first collection of poems in 1931. He joined the staff at the New Yorker in 1932 and quickly established himself as a very popular writer of light and funny verse. He was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1950. His principal home was in Baltimore, Maryland, where he died in 1971. His one-line observations are still often quoted - two examples are;
“People who work sitting down get paid more than people who work standing up,” and “Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long.”

First Child ... Second Child by Ogden Nash


Be it a girl, or one of the boys,
It is scarlet all over its avoirdupois,
It is red, it is boiled; could the obstetrician
Have possibly been a lobstertrician?
His degrees and credentials were hunky-dory,
But how's for an infantile inventory?
Here's the prodigy, here's the miracle!
Whether its head is oval or spherical,
You rejoice to find it has only one,
Having dreaded a two-headed daughter or son;
Here's the phenomenon all complete,
It's got two hands, it's got two feet,
Only natural, but pleasing, because
For months you have dreamed of flippers or claws.
Furthermore, it is fully equipped:
Fingers and toes with nails are tipped;
It's even got eyes, and a mouth clear cut;
When the mouth comes open the eyes go shut,
When the eyes go shut, the breath is loosed
And the presence of lungs can be deduced.
Let the rockets flash and the cannon thunder,
This child is a marvel, a matchless wonder.
A staggering child, a child astounding,
Dazzling, diaperless, dumbfounding,
Stupendous, miraculous, unsurpassed,
A child to stagger and flabbergast,
Bright as a button, sharp as a thorn,
And the only perfect one ever born.


Arrived this evening at half-past nine.
Everybody is doing fine.
Is it a boy, or quite the reverse?
You can call in the morning and ask the nurse.

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