Monday, August 20, 2007

Ogden Nash had an old house

Lines to a World-Famous Poet Who Failed To Complete a World-Famous Poem; or, Come Clean, Mr. Guest! by Ogden Nash

Oft when I'm sitting without anything to read waiting for a train in a depot,
I torment myself with the poet's dictum that to make a house a home,
livin' is what it takes a heap o'.
Now, I myself should very much enjoy makin' my house a home, but
my brain keeps on a-goin' clickety-click, clickety-click, clickety-click,
If Peter Piper picked a peck o' heap o' livin', what kind of a peck o' heap
o' livin' would Peter Piper pick?
Certainly a person doesn't need the brains of a Lincoln
To know that there are many kinds o' livin', just as there many kinds o'
dancin' or huntin' or fishin' or eatin' or drinkin'.
A philosophical poet should be specific
As well as prolific,
And I trust I am not being offensive
If I suggest that he should also be comprehensive.
You may if you like verify my next statement by sending a stamped, self-
addressed envelope to either Dean Inge or Dean Gauss,
But meanwhile I ask you to believe that it takes a heap of other things
besides a heap o' livin' to make a home out of a house.
To begin with, it takes a heap o' payin',
And you don't pay just the oncet, but agayin and agayin and agayin.
Buyin' a stock is called speculatin' and buyin' a house is called investin',
But the value of the stock or of the house fluctuates up and down,
generally down, just as an irresponsible Destiny may destine.
Something else that your house takes a heap o', whether the builder came
from Sicily or Erin,
Is repairin',
In addition to which, gentle reader, I am sorry to say you are little more
than an imbecile or a cretin
If you think it doesn't take a heap o' heatin',
And unless you're spiritually allied to the little Dutch boy who went
around inspectin' dikes lookin' for leaks to put his thumb in,
It takes a heap o' plumbin',
And if it's a house that you're hopin' to spend not just today but
tomorrow in,
It takes a heap o' borrowin'
In a word, Macushla,
There's a scad o' things that to make a house a home it takes not only a
heap, or a peck, but at least a bushela.

from today's Writer's Almanac

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