Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Spring 2004 Newsletter

Ogden Nash: A Good Bad Poet


Ogden Nash, c. 1953, Kay Bell photographer.

September 12-December 20
Leeds Gallery
Flawn Academic Center

Ogden Nash, the most widely known, imitated, and admired practitioner of light verse during his lifetime, would have celebrated his 100th birthday this August. The Ransom Center will mark the occasion with an exhibit to honor the "Master of Light Verse." Ogden Nash: A Good Bad Poet will be on display in the Leeds Gallery at the Flawn Academic Center from September 12 through December 20, with an opening reception September 12.

The exhibition will show that Nash -- although preceded by many poets who wrote both serious and comic verse -- was the first to reject the exhausted forms of serious poetry for a comic form that is uniquely his own. Known for his improbable rhymes and asymmetrical lines, Nash succeeded in making poetry appeal to an audience of highbrows and lowbrows, young and old alike. Drawing upon items from the Ogden Nash Collection at the Ransom Center, the exhibition emphasizes the vitality and timelessness of Nash's poetry, and the international acclaim it has received. The exhibition will feature poems, letters, and drawings by Nash, tracing his development from a "nobody," as Nash liked to characterize himself, to everybody's favorite poet. In the pantheon of humorous poets, Nash is indeed the master of them all.  

Tara Wenger
Research Librarian

At another year
I would not boggle,
Except that when I jog
I joggle.

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