Ogden Nash

Ogden Nash was een Amerikaanse dichter van light verse. Hij is erg beroemd geworden door zijn humoristische poëzie en zijn gedichten vielen zeer in de smaak bij zowel kinderen als volwassenen.


(Frederic) Ogden Nash werd geboren in Rye, New York, op 19 augustus 1902. Hij ging naar school in Newport, Rhode Island. Later bezocht hij de een jaar lang de universiteit van Harvard, maar deze verliet hij toen zijn familie in financiële moeilijkheden kwam. Hij werd leraar op zijn oude school op Rhode Island, de St. George’s School, maar hij gaf zijn baan weer op omdat het lesgeven aan veertienjarigen  hem teveel stress opleverde. Hij werd verkoper, schreef advertenties, werd tenslotte redacteur van de New Yorker in 1932. Toen werd hij als dichter beroemd. Hij verscheen op radio en televisie. Hij stierf op 19 mei 1971 in Baltimore. Een beetje in zijn geest een gedicht voor tussen Pinksteren en Pasen.



The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus


In Baltimore there lived a boy.
He wasn’t anybody’s joy.
Although his name was Jabez Dawes,
His character was full of flaws.


In school he never led his classes,
He hid old ladies’ reading glasses,
His mouth was open when he chewed,
And elbows to the table glued.
He stole the milk of hungry kittens,
And walked through doors marked NO ADMITTANCE.
He said he acted thus because
There wasn’t any Santa Claus.


Another trick that tickled Jabez
Was crying ‘Boo’ at little babies.
He brushed his teeth, they said in town,
Sideways instead of up and down.
Yet people pardoned every sin,
And viewed his antics with a grin,
Till they were told by Jabez Dawes,
‘There isn’t any Santa Claus!’


Deploring how he did behave,
His parents swiftly sought their grave.
They hurried through the portals pearly,
And Jabez left the funeral early.


Like whooping cough, from child to child,
He sped to spread the rumor wild:
‘Sure as my name is Jabez Dawes
There isn’t any Santa Claus!’
Slunk like a weasel of a marten
Through nursery and kindergarten,
Whispering low to every tot,
‘There isn’t any, no there’s not!’


The children wept all Christmas eve
And Jabez chortled up his sleeve.
No infant dared hang up his stocking
For fear of Jabez’ ribald mocking

He sprawled on his untidy bed,
Fresh malice dancing in his head,
When presently with scalp-a-tingling,
Jabez heard a distant jingling;
He heard the crunch of sleigh and hoof
Crisply alighting on the roof.
What good to rise and bar the door?
A shower of soot was on the floor.

What was beheld by Jabez Dawes?
The fireplace full of Santa Claus!
Then Jabez fell upon his knees
With cries of ‘Don’t,’ and ‘Pretty Please.’
He howled, ‘I don’t know where you read it,
But anyhow, I never said it!’
‘Jabez’ replied the angry saint,
‘It isn’t I, it’s you that ain’t.
Although there is a Santa Claus,
There isn’t any Jabez Dawes!’


Said Jabez then with impudent vim,
‘Oh, yes there is, and I am him!
Your magic don’t scare me, it doesn’t’
And suddenly he found he wasn’t!
From grimy feet to grimy locks,
Jabez became a Jack-in-the-box,
An ugly toy with springs unsprung,
Forever sticking out his tongue.


The neighbors heard his mournful squeal;
They searched for him, but not with zeal.
No trace was found of Jabez Dawes,
Which led to thunderous applause,
And people drank a loving cup
And went and hung their stockings up.


All you who sneer at Santa Claus,
Beware the fate of Jabez Dawes,
The saucy boy who mocked the saint. 
Donner and Blitzen licked off his paint 






Nash (19 augustus 1902 – 19 mei 1971)



1 thoughts on “Ogden Nash

De commentaren zijn gesloten