The broken-line limericks of Ogden Nash poked fun at such diverse topics as morality and vegetables.
Ever since his unusual rhyme scheme caught the eye of a New Yorker editor, Nash stuck pins in the pompous, chided the overly serious and amused everyone.
Nash began his career as a schoolteacher, then became a bond salesman in New York. In two years, he recalled, he sold one bond—"to my godmother." He tried his hand at streetcar advertising before moving on to Doubleday.
He originally hoped to be a serious writer. He once recalled that when he started out "I wrote sonnets about beauty and truth, eternity, poignant pain."
But he switched to humor. "I thought I'd better laugh at myself before anyone else laughed at me."
Nash's big splash in verse catapulted him to the managing editor's chair at the New Yorker for six months. Twice he went to Hollywood as a scriptwriter.
He scored a smash on Broadway in 1947 with "One Touch of Venus," which was later made into a movie.
Nash didn't neglect the problems or the times with his humor. One of his most famous verses championed the environment long before ecology became a household word:
"I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree.
Perhaps unless the billboards fall
I'll never see a tree at all."