Friday, December 6, 2019

A crazy thing just before Christmas

Our basement had become a dungeon. It desperately needed work. So our Christmas present to each other is to have it refurbished. 

Yesterday we had our washer, dryer, basement refrigerator and some other heavy equipment moved to other spaces in our house to make ready for the workers on Monday.  It isn't exactly decorating for Christmas... but... it must be done. No more putting it off. We will face the dungeon dragon and overcome it!

So when I came across this poem by Ogden Nash, it seemed perfect for the occasion. I hope you will enjoy this as my Poetry Friday offering.

Kind of an Ode to Duty

O Duty,
Why hast thou not the visage of a sweetie or a cutie?
Why glitter thy spectacles so ominously?
Why art thou clad so abominously?
Why art thou so different from Venus
And why do thou and I have so few interests mutually in common between us?
Why art thou fifty per cent martyr
And fifty-one per cent Tartar?

Why is it thy unfortunate wont
To try to attract people by calling on them either to leave undone the deeds they like, or to do the deeds they don’t?
Why are thou so like an April post-mortem
On something that died in the ortumn?
Above all, why dost thou continue to hound me?
Why art thou always albatrossly hanging around me?

Thou so ubiquitous,
And I so iniquitous.
I seem to be the one person in the world thou art perpetually preaching at who or to who;
Whatever looks like fun, there art thou standing between me and it, calling yoo-hoo.
O Duty, Duty!
How noble a man should I be hadst thou the visage of a sweetie or a cutie!
Wert thou but houri instead of a hag
Then would my halo indeed be in the bag!
But as it is thou art so much forbiddinger than a Wodehouse hero’s forbiddingest aunt
That in the words of the poet, When Duty whispers low, Thou must, this erstwhile youth replies, I just can’t.

-- Ogden Nash

I don't know about you, but this makes me laugh even in the middle of a house project.  And unlike Mr. Nash, we have hired people with appropriate skills to help us, so "we can!"

This Poetry Friday is hosted by Tanita at (fiction instead of lies) Head on over to see everyone and have some more poetic fun.

Cheers to all!


  1. ☺ I'm still smiling. I love finding lesser known poems from well-known poets, and I've not read this Nash before. I LOVE IT. It's a poem I'll be passing on this wee!

  2. We are in the middle of planning for huge renovations. I must remember to laugh my way through it I think.

  3. Karen, we are still unpacking from our move, so I RELATE. Only Ogden Nash could get away with these hilarious rhymes: Why are thou so like an April post-mortem/ On something that died in the ortumn?

  4. Love the washer by the piano, but just think, you will love that 'new' dungeon. I've never thought of using the adverb "albatrossly" before. Wouldn't it be fun to have a chat with Ogden Nash! Love your picture, too! Best wishes for those experts!

  5. This made me smile. These words: ubiquitous and iniquitous. Love me some Nash. Good luck on the house project.

  6. Thank you for sharing this fun poem. Wouldn't we all love duty to be a cutie? Good luck with the renovations.

  7. I love this! I'm so sick of Duty nagging me that I might have to throw him in a trunk and padlock him in!

  8. LOL! I'm driven by duty these coming home from college--I must ready the house for their Christmas, kids at school forgot to bring supplies--I must have back-up supplies at the ready. I get so worn down by duty and then don't make changes. This poem made laugh right out loud. It really is up to me to find the humor in my own life. Ogden Nash really helped. Love this post!

  9. Hah!! Love this poem, made me laugh out loud. Only too true. Hadn't seen this one before, so thanks for posting it. When it comes to facing our dungeons, at least laughing makes it somewhat bearable. Speaking of washers and dryers, our washer died yesterday, so there'll be some rearranging around here. BTW, I'm wondering what your piano thinks of having that appliance next to it. :)

    1. Jama: That question is a great prompt for a poem. Now if I can just put some words on paper....

  10. It seems strange to read an Ogden Nash poem this long! But it certainly has his telltale humor and wordplay. I especially love this line: "Why art thou always albatrossly hanging around me?" I think I may use that line next time I'm annoyed. That alone might help to lighten the load, so to speak. Good luck with that dungeon refurbishment project, Karen!

    1. Yes, I love that line also... but my favorite is this one: And why do thou and I have so few interests mutually in common between us? The redundancy slays me...

  11. Got a good laugh from Ogden Nash's poem, especially the last line,"I just can't." Hope your remodeling goes smoothly… thanks!

  12. Hi, Karen! I somehow missed this last week, but loved reading this new-to-me one from Nash. Love it! Hang in there with your refurbishment! :)