Ogden Nash

Brief Ogden Nash Biography

Basic Analysis of the Poem "The Billboard"

Relationship between Ogden Nash's "Billboard" and Joyce Kilmer's "The Tree"

My "Ogden Nash" Poem

Poetry Links

The Billboard

I think that I shall never see,

A billboard lovely as a tree.

Perhaps, Unless the billboards fall,

I’ll never see a tree at all.


Frederic Ogden Nash was born on August 19, 1902 in Rye, New York.  He was the second youngest of five kids.  Ogden Nash attended St. George’s School in Newport, Rhode Island, and entered Harvard University.  His family ran into financial problems, so he left after one year of college to find work.  Ogden Nash published his first work in 1930.  He wrote poetry.  His poetry was funny, and sometimes rhymed.  He was a major contributor to the New Yorker.  Ogden Nash died in Baltimore, Maryland on May 19, 1971.

Some of his works:

bulletHumorous Verse
bullet1925 Cricket of Cavador
bullet1931 Hard Lines
bullet1931 Free Wheeling
bullet1936 The Bad Parents' Garden of Verse
bullet1938 I'm a Stranger Here Myself
bullet1942 Good Intentions
bullet1949 Verses
bullet1950 Family Reunion
bullet1951 Parents Keep Out: Elderly Poems for Youngerly Readers
bullet1962 Everyone But Thee and Me
bullet1964 Marriage Lines
bullet1965 Merrill Lynch We Roll Along
bullet1970 Bed Riddance: A Posy for the Indisposed
bullet1981 A Penny Saved is Impossible
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·        Point of view:  This poem is being told by the author, Ogden Nash in first person.

·        Emotion:  I believe that the emotion in this poem is a bit sad and angry because the person sees the trees of the Joyce Kilmer poem being covered up.

·        Poetic devices:

1.     rhythm: There is rhythm in this poem, and the poem flows because of the way the lines are set up short and and to the point, passing an important thought across.  It is like the saying, “Words are precious.”

2.     end rhyme: There is an end of the line rhyme at the end of lines 1+2 and the end of lines 3+4 .


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The Hamster

Josh Rushakoff

(with apologies to Ogden Nash)



Hamsters are so soft and round,

The most adorable creatures around.

Who would think,

Their cages sure stink.

Of all the animals who sleep nocturnal,

This one wheels to a racket infernal.


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Relationship between Ogden Nash's Poem "The Billboard" and Joyce Kilmer's Poem "Trees"

(For Mrs. Henry Mills Alden)

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

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Both Joyce Kilmer and Ogden Nash have written poems about trees.  The difference between the two poems is that in the first poem, Joyce Kilmer is comparing two things, a tree and a poem.  He is saying how a tree can only be made and fully described by God, but a poem can be written by anybody.  In addition, no matter how great the poem, it still is not able to fully describe a tree.   Ogden Nash is comparing a billboard to a tree.  Obviously a tree is lovelier than a billboard.  In his version of Joyce Kilmer’s poem, Ogden Nash is saying that now that the billboards have been built, not only can’t he describe a tree, he can’t even see a tree.
Read other Ogden Nash Poems

Read other Joyce Kilmer Poems



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