Ogden Nash: The Life and Work of America’s Laureate of Light Verse by Douglas M Parker - review by William Palmer

William Palmer

The Golden Trashery

Ogden Nash: The Life and Work of America’s Laureate of Light Verse

By

Ivan R Dee 316pp £20 order from our bookshop
 

Ogden Nash was one of the most popular poets in the English-speaking world at one time, but this is the first full-length biography. Apart from a rather odd encounter with Ezra Pound, his world hardly impinged on that inhabited by the poets from Eliot to Lowell whose work formed the critically approved canon in his lifetime. The difference can be seen from the index to Douglas M Parker’s book, which includes such figures unfamiliar to literature as Bette Davis, Jeanette MacDonald and the wonderfully named Mortimer Snerd.

Nash was born in 1902 in Ramaque, New York. His father was a wealthy businessman from an old North Carolina family; his mother came from an equally old-established line descended from French Huguenot stock. His early life was sheltered, privileged and stable. It was not until 1913 that his world

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