Ogden Nash

(August 19, 1902 – May 19, 1971 / New York / United States)

Common Cold

Poem by Ogden Nash

Go hang yourself, you old M.D.!
You shall not sneer at me.
Pick up your hat and stethoscope,
Go wash your mouth with laundry soap;
I contemplate a joy exquisite
I'm not paying you for your visit.
I did not call you to be told
My malady is a common cold.

By pounding brow and swollen lip;
By fever's hot and scaly grip;
By those two red redundant eyes
That weep like woeful April skies;
By racking snuffle, snort, and sniff;
By handkerchief after handkerchief;
This cold you wave away as naught
Is the damnedest cold man ever caught!

Give ear, you scientific fossil!
Here is the genuine Cold Colossal;
The Cold of which researchers dream,
The Perfect Cold, the Cold Supreme.
This honored system humbly holds
The Super-cold to end all colds;
The Cold Crusading for Democracy;
The Führer of the Streptococcracy.

Bacilli swarm within my portals
Such as were ne'er conceived by mortals,
But bred by scientists wise and hoary
In some Olympic laboratory;
Bacteria as large as mice,
With feet of fire and heads of ice
Who never interrupt for slumber
Their stamping elephantine rumba.

A common cold, gadzooks, forsooth!
Ah, yes. And Lincoln was jostled by Booth;
Don Juan was a budding gallant,
And Shakespeare's plays show signs of talent;
The Arctic winter is fairly coolish,
And your diagnosis is fairly foolish.
Oh what a derision history holds
For the man who belittled the Cold of Colds!

Comments about Common Cold by Ogden Nash

  • Nicole SettimiNicole Settimi (4/1/2019 8:33:00 AM)

    'The Cold Crusading for Democracy;
    The Führer of the Streptococcracy. '

    - This is a sort of fun, but dry, witty piece. I like the humour. The lines above had me. it's definitely a " unique" write, so I say 10.

    Xx NDS(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Britte NinadBritte Ninad (8/12/2018 4:14:00 AM)

    interesting -

    My malady is a common cold.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Loppo LouieLoppo Louie (3/10/2017 9:14:00 AM)

    And need he say more.
    Right to the point...(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Tom Allport (12/15/2016 12:07:00 PM)

    sounds like that was the cold to end all colds(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Seamus O BrianSeamus O Brian (9/19/2016 6:01:00 PM)

    Quite the most enjoyable contemplation of illness I have ended in for some time. Certainly uncommon!

    5 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Margaret O DriscollMargaret O Driscoll (2/15/2016 4:00:00 PM)

    Very funny piece on the common cold! !(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Mitch King (6/16/2009 5:26:00 AM)

    humor while keeping pace and flow, amazing(Report)Reply

    14 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Jimmy Wrangler (12/7/2007 4:38:00 PM)

    Only a talent like Ogden Nash could make a cold funny. This guy is my all time favourite.(Report)Reply

    16 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • The Banana Republican (4/24/2006 11:22:00 AM)

    ogden nash is the steve colbert of poetry,(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    14 person did not like.
Read all 9 comments »

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Read poems about / on: april, history, winter, red, dream, fire, joy, sky

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003