Ogden Nash

(August 19, 1902 – May 19, 1971 / New York / United States)

À Bas Ben Adhem


My fellow man I do not care for.
I often ask me, What's he there for?
The only answer I can find
Is, Reproduction of his kind.
If I'm supposed to swallow that,
Winnetka is my habitat.
Isn't it time to carve Hic Jacet
Above that Reproduction racket?

To make the matter more succint:
Suppose my fellow man extinct.
Why, who would not approve the plan
Save possibly my fellow man?
Yet with a politician's voice
He names himself as Nature's choice.

The finest of the human race
Are bad in figure, worse in face.
Yet just because they have two legs
And come from storks instead of eggs
They count the spacious firmament
As something to be charged and sent.

Though man created cross-town traffic,
The Daily Mirror, News and Graphic,
The pastoral fight and fighting pastor,
And Queen Marie and Lady Astor,
He hails himself with drum and fife
And bullies lower forms of life.

Not that I think much depends
On how we treat our feathered friends,
Or hold the wrinkled elephant
A nobler creature than my aunt.
It's simply that I'm sure I can
Get on without my fellow man.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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Comments about this poem (À Bas Ben Adhem by Ogden Nash )

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  • Rookie Joe Boldy (2/7/2012 9:58:00 AM)

    Like this if you hate when you dropp a big poop and the water comes back up and splashes your butt (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Gordon Spurr (4/6/2005 3:59:00 AM)

    if one mans sucess is the mesure of another mans misery may it please god if I am a failure (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

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