Biography of Oliver Herford
Oliver Herford (1863–1935) was a British born American writer, artist and illustrator who has been called "The American Oscar Wilde".As a frequent contributor to The Mentor, Life, and Ladies' Home Journal, he sometimes signed his artwork as "O Herford". In 1906 he wrote and illustrated the "Little Book of Bores". He also wrote short poems like "The Chimpanzee" and "The Hen", as well as writing and illustrating "The Rubaiyat of a Persian Kitten" (1904) and "Excuse It Please" (1930). His sister Beatrice Herford was also a humorist.
Ethel Mumford and Addison Mizner wrote a small book The Cynic's Calendar of Revised Wisdom for 1903 as a Christmas present and added Herford's name as an author as a joke. The printer made up more copies to sell and to everyone's surprise it was an astounding success. When Herford found out about it he wanted 90% of the royalties. He was awarded an equal third
Oliver Herford Poems
MY child, the Duck-billed Platypus A sad example sets for us: From him we learn how Indecision Of character provokes Derision.
CHILDREN, behold the Chimpanzee: He sits on the ancestral tree From which we sprang in ages gone.
The Elf And The Dormouse
Under a toadstool crept a wee Elf, Out of the rain to shelter himself. Under the toadstool, sound asleep,
IF this little world to-night Suddenly should fall through space In a hissing, headlong flight, Shrivelling from off its face,
The Puppy cannot mew or talk, He has a funny kind of walk, His tail is difficult to wag And that’s what makes him walk zigzag.
ALAS, my Child, where is the Pen That can do Justice to the Hen? Like Royalty, She goes her way,
The Milk Jug
The Gentle Milk Jug blue and white I love with all my soul, She pours herself with all her might
It’s very nice to think of how In every country lives a Cow To furnish milk with all her might For Kittens’ comfort and delight.
Winter And Summer
In Winter when the air is chill, And winds are blowing loud and shrill, All snug and warm I sit and purr, Wrapped in my overcoat of fur.
THE Pen-guin sits up-on the shore And loves the lit-tle fish to bore; He has one en-er-vat-ing joke That would a very Saint provoke:
'Oh, say, what is this fearful, wild, Incorrigible cuss?' 'This *creature* (don't say 'cuss,' my child;
The Shadow Kitten
There’s a funny little kitten that tries to look like me, But though I’m round and fluffy, he’s as flat as flat can be;
Child's Natural History
Ev-er-y child who has the use Of his sen-ses knows a goose. Sees them un-der-neath the tree Gath-er round the goose-girl's knee,
When I grow up I mean to be A Lion large and fierce to see. I’ll mew so loud that Cook in fright Will give me all the cream in sight.
Alphabet Of Celebrities
E is for Edison, making believe
He's invented a clever contrivance for Eve,
Who complained that she never could laugh in her sleeve.
O is for Oliver, casting aspersion
On Omar, that awfully dissolute Persian,
Though secretly longing to join the diversion.
R's Rubenstein, playing that old thing in F