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
- The Cow -new-
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.
The Milk Jug
The Gentle Milk Jug blue and white I love with all my soul, She pours herself with all her might
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,
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.
IF this little world to-night Suddenly should fall through space In a hissing, headlong flight, Shrivelling from off its face,
The Moon is like a big round cheese That shines above the garden trees, And like a cheese grows less each night,
ALAS, my Child, where is the Pen That can do Justice to the Hen? Like Royalty, She goes her way,
The Dog is black or white or brown And sometimes spotted like a clown. He loves to make a foolish noise And Human Company enjoys.
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:
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.
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;
The Whole Duty Of Kittens
When Human Folk at Table eat, A Kitten must not mew for meat, Or jump to grab it from the Dish,
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.
A Song Of A Heart
Upon a time I had a Heart,
And it was bright and gay;
And I gave it to a Lady fair
To have and keep alway.
She soothed it and she smoothed it
And she stabbed it till it bled;
She brightened it and lightened it
And she weighed it down with lead.