Good Intentions

By Ogden Nash
CLEARLY Ogden Nash is God’s gift to the United States. While writers of dismally serious intent are a dime a dozen, a genuine comic talent is nearly priceless. Mr. Nash is our best literary comedian since Will Rogers. He has become, in a strictly Shakespearean sense, America’s number one fool, though in any other sense he is nobody’s fool.
Mr. Nash’s extraordinary faculty for verbal pyrotechnics is happily employed in devising unheard-of rhymes, as when he couples “boomerang” with “zestful tangy Kangaroo meringue.” But it is not primarily as a grotesque word-smith that he deserves his laurels. He has a keen eye and a keener nose for what is broadly ridiculous or slightly affected in current ideas and manners, particularly those of metropolitan society, and his reports of his findings are more than traps for the injudicious. They are a species of flypaper that envelops the subject with a glutinous insistence which becomes uproariously funny.
Few readers can get far in Good Intentions without coming upon just the poem they would take a malicious pleasure in sending to So-and-so, or more probably Mrs. So-and-so. In other words Mr. Nash’s medicine goes unfailingly to the spot. G.F. W.