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Ogden Nash
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Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.02

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    comedy, import-export, light-hearted, parody, spoof, sure-are, intelligent, literature, editor, serious, unique, writing, dromedary, people, anniversary, jobs
     content words:    One American, Ogden Nash, New York, General Francis Nash, Harvard University, United States, Joyce Kilmer
Ogden Nash

By Colleen Messina
1     Some people think that poets are serious people who sit around stroking their long, white beards writing somber sonnets. Poetry is often about solemn topics, but not always. One American poet named Ogden Nash used poetry to make people smile. Here is one of his famous limericks:

There was a young lady called Harris,
 
2     That nothing could ever embarrass.
 
3     Til the bath salts one day
 
4     in the tub where she lay,
 
5     turned out to be Plaster of Paris!

 
6     Ogden may have started to develop a sense of humor about life because he moved so often as a boy. He was born on August 19, 1902, in Rye, New York, but he grew up in Savannah, Georgia. One of his relatives, General Francis Nash, gave his name to Nashville, Tennessee. His father had an import-export company, so the family moved from place to place for his business. Ogden never liked school, even though he was intelligent. He went to Harvard University for one year but dropped out to take odd writing jobs. He eventually became an editor at Doubleday publishing house and began to write poetry in his spare time.
 
7     Ogden published his first children's book in 1925. He eventually published his first book of poetry in 1931. He had a wide smile and a great sense of humor. He began appearing on radio and comedy shows. He also gave lectures at universities around the United States.
 
8     Some of Ogden's best poems were about animals. His light style and unique way of combining words made his work very popular. You may have heard some of his poems. Here is one about one of Nash's favorite animals, the camel:

The Camel has a single hump.

Paragraphs 9 to 20:
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