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To My Valentine ~ Ogden Nash

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by

emily keenan

on 30 January 2014

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Transcript of To My Valentine ~ Ogden Nash

Ogden Nash-His Life
Frederic Ogden Nash (August 19, 1902 – May 19, 1971) was an American poet best known for writing pithy and funny light verse. Nash attended Harvard College, but dropped out after only one year. His first collection of poems, Hard Lines was published in 1931. That same year, he married Frances Rider Leonard; they had two children. He devoted himself full time to verse. . Nash was a keen observer of American social life, and frequently mocked religious moralizing and politicians. He drew huge audiences for his readings and lectures. He died of crohns disease in 1971.
Poetic Style
Nash was best known for his surprising pun-like rhymes and comical poems. His free-form style allowed rhyming lines of varying lengths and made-up words, leaving readers a little off-kilter, and delighted by the inherent humor.
To my Valentine
In this poem Ogden Nash declares his love. He makes fun of the usual poetic love poems. Instead he uses negative descriptions and proclaims that his love is deeper than all this. This reversal actually makes sense as it is passion he is describing and passion, good and bad, can be intense.
Techniques
Alliteration-"criminal/clue''
"sailor/sea''/"swear/star''
.Pesonification- "a subway jerks''/"high court?loathes''/"catbird hates a cat''
Simile - "as a shipwrecked sailor hates the sea''/"as a hostess detests unexpected guests''
Assonance - "a cat''/ "jerks irks''/"squirts hurts''
To My Valentine ~ Ogden Nash
Tone
The tone of a love comes into this poem . I feel while the tone of love is definately visable I do not think it is the romantic love we associate with today. In the poem he rejects all the usual clichés and uses pessimistic words such as hate in their place.
Theme
There is a humourous love vs hatred theme in this poem. This theme is ironic as even though these two words are completely different they both show an immense passion towards something and therfore they are actually quite similar.
The poet expresses his love through using different comparisons. Instead of comparing his love with other examples of affection, the poet compares his love with examples of hatred and loath. “As a hostess detests unexpected guests, that’s how much you I love,” this line is an evident example of the poet’s comparison of love with hatred. The manner that the poet expresses his love is rather unusual as love is usually compared with affection and fondness, whereas the poet of this “To My Valentine” compares love with excessive hatred and irritations, revealing that his love towards his lover is immense and strong as the hatred being compared was immense as well.
To My Valentine


More than a catbird hates a cat,
Or a criminal hates a clue,
Or the Axis hates the United States,
That's how much I love you.

I love you more than a duck can swim,
And more than a grapefruit squirts,
I love you more than a gin rummy is a bore,
And more than a toothache hurts.

As a shipwrecked sailor hates the sea,
Or a juggler hates a shove,
As a hostess detests unexpected guests,
That's how much you I love.

I love you more than a wasp can sting,
And more than the subway jerks,
I love you as much as a beggar needs a crutch,
And more than a hangnail irks.

I swear to you by the stars above,
And below, if such there be,
As the High Court loathes perjurious oathes,
That's how you're love by me.
Imagery
There is a wonderful imagery in this poem.
Full transcript