23 July 2004

On Marriage

A poetic repartee to the conspiracy afoot to get me married.

I Do, I Will, I Have
By Ogden Nash

How wise I am to have instructed the butler to instruct the first footman to instruct the second footman to instruct the doorman to order my carriage; /
I am about to volunteer a definition of marriage./
Just as I know that there are two Hagens, Walter and Copen, /
I know that marriage is a legal and religious alliance entered into by a man who can't sleep with the window shut and a woman who can't
sleep with the window open. /
Moreover, just as I am unsure of the difference between flora and fauna and flotsam and jetsam, /
I am quite sure that marriage is the alliance of two people one of whom never remembers birthdays and the other never forgetsam, /
And he refuses to believe there is a leak in the water pipe or the gas pipe and she is convinced she is about to asphyxiate or drown, /
And she says Quick get up and get my hairbrushes off the windowsill,
it's raining in, and he replies Oh they're all right, it's only raining straight down. /
That is why marriage is so much more interesting than divorce, /
Because it's the only known example of the happy meeting of the
immovable object and the irresistible force. /
So I hope husbands and wives will continue to debate and combat over everything debatable and combatable, /
Because I believe a little incompatibility is the spice of life, particularly if he has income and she is pattable. /

And a few puns on the subject.

  • "Do you take this woman to be your awfully wedded wife?"

  • "You may now cuss the bride"


Anonymous said...

A stunning piece on the pain of Prometheus followed up wonderfully by this superb poem. Lovely combination. A truly remarkable blog, at last.

Anonymous said...

Ah, an account of the pain of Prometheus and a repartee on marriage. Do I see major heartbreaks in the past? My opinion, though uncalled for: Get married and you'll lose the sensitivity to write another "Prometheus :: by Prometheus", stay single and you'll end up with vultures gnawing away at your liver.

Your choice... Oh, by the way, nicely written blog.

Anonymous said...

Whoa there... Rather vultures than wives, dude.


H said...


H is impressed. wah wah wah.

Prometheus has obviously rather deeply contemplated the means and meaning of marriage. which brings H to the question... what might that have in common with tiger lily?

But Ogden Nash is my HERO! he rules. so H is pleased that Prometheus is a fan of ON.

H said...


this is H's suggested reading at the cost of self promotion. Here she has not only treated you to her own literary brilliance and that but to that of our collective hero.