August 8, 2018
Ogden Nash was an American poet, known for his light verse.
In a 1958 interview he stated, ‘I think in terms of rhyme, and have since I was six years old.’ When I was twelve or so, I came across his poems on my parents’ bookshelf, and devoured every volume. I too have thought in terms of rhyme from earliest memory, and like him feel free to make things rhyme that don’t necessarily. His ‘Ode to Duty’ is a delightful example!
And then there’s this poem, written to his wife:
A Lady Who Thinks She Is Thirty
Unwillingly Miranda wakes, feel the sun with terror,
one unwilling step she takes, shuddering to the mirror.
Miranda in Miranda’s sight is old and gray and dirty;
Twenty-nine she was last night; this morning she is thirty.
Shining like the morning star, like the twilight shining,
haunted by a calendar, Miranda is a-pining.
Silly girl, silver girl, draw the mirror toward you;
time who makes the years to whirl adorned as he adored you.
Time is timelessness for you; calendars for the human;
What’s a year, or thirty, to loveliness made woman?
Oh, Night will not see thirty again, yet soft her wing, Miranda;
Pick up your glass and tell me then—how old is Spring, Miranda?
This touched me when I was ten, twenty, thirty, and all the more at twice thirty and counting! But then, who’s counting?
Ogden Nash, what a guy.