Columbus Poem by Ogden Nash


Rating: 3.2

Once upon a time there was an Italian,
And some people thought he was a rapscallion,
But he wasn't offended,
Because other people thought he was splendid,
And he said the world was round,
And everybody made an uncomplimentary sound,
But he went and tried to borrow some money from Ferdinand
But Ferdinand said America was a bird in the bush and he'd rather have a berdinand,
But Columbus' brain was fertile, it wasn't arid,
And he remembered that Ferdinand was married,
And he thought, there is no wife like a misunderstood one,
Because if her husband thinks something is a terrible idea she is bound to think it a good one,
So he perfumed his handkerchief with bay rum and citronella,
And he went to see Isabella,
And he looked wonderful but he had never felt sillier,
And she said, I can't place the face but the aroma is familiar,
And Columbus didn't say a word,
All he said was, I am Columbus, the fifteenth-century Admiral Byrd,
And, just as he thought, her disposition was very malleable,
And she said, Here are my jewels, and she wasn't penurious like Cornelia the mother of the Gracchi, she wasn't referring to her children, no, she was referring to her jewels, which were very very valuable,
So Columbus said, Somebody show me the sunset and somebody did and he set sail for it,
And he discovered America and they put him in jail for it,
And the fetters gave him welts,
And they named America after somebody else,
So the sad fate of Columbus ought to be pointed out to every child and every voter,
Because it has a very important moral, which is, Don't be a discoverer, be a promoter.

Chinedu Dike 15 February 2022

An interesting story written with a tinge of humour....

0 0 Reply
John Tatum 21 August 2013

Nice humor...and use of timing and accentuate it. I like story/poems.

6 4 Reply
Ciarli Ling 01 February 2013

What a story, of honest lo life men, that are so rare nowdays.

9 7 Reply
Dan Holmes 19 November 2012

Obviously, this is written from the perspective of popular American folklore and not from history proper. To read it otherwise would be to miss the point of this amusing poem.

3 13 Reply
Tai Chi Italy 29 October 2009

Amen! And thank you for being a 'Dead poet who reads Tai Chi Italy! Smiling at the morale of the story! Tai

5 14 Reply
Ogden Nash

Ogden Nash

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