Chwast Versus Ogden Nash

Thanks to Art Chantry, design archeologist par excellence, I am now the proud owner of Funniest Verses of Ogden Nash, illustrated by Seymour Chwast in 1968, and published by Hallmark Editions. It features such wry witticisms as “Lines on Facing Forty”: I have a bone to pick with Fate. / Come here and tell me, girlie, / Do you think my mind is maturing late, / or simply rotted early? (image below, top). Then, there’s “Assorted Chocolates”: If some confectioner were willing / To let the shape announce the filling. / We’d encounter fewer assorted chocs, / Bitten into and returned to the box. (image below, bottom)

There’s more, like “Ask Daddy, He Won’t Know,” “Lather as You Go,” and “The Hat’s Got My Tongue,” all splendidly illuminated in Chwast’s early, colorful linear style.

Happily, if you look, / you may find the book. / The online dealer is not a crook, / and his prices do not rook, / so surf here yourself to get the book / I guarantee it will look very good in that special nook.

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

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