Friday, August 8, 2008

More about people, a poem by Ogden Nash.

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.”

Here’s a poem of his about people and work that I particularly like.

More About People by Ogden Nash

When people aren't asking questions
They're making suggestions
And when they're not doing one of those
They're either looking over your shoulder or stepping on your toes
And then as if that weren't enough to annoy you
They employ you.
Anybody at leisure
Incurs everybody's displeasure.
It seems to be very irking
To people at work to see other people not working,
So they tell you that work is wonderful medicine,
Just look at Firestone and Ford and Edison,
And they lecture you till they're out of breath or something
And then if you don't succumb they starve you to death or something.
All of which results in a nasty quirk:
That if you don't want to work you have to work to earn enough extra
money so that you won't have to work.

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