Ogden Nash

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

To My Valentine - Poem by Ogden Nash

More than a catbird hates a cat,
Or a criminal hates a clue,
Or the Axis hates the United States,
That's how much I love you.

I love you more than a duck can swim,
And more than a grapefruit squirts,
I love you more than a gin rummy is a bore,
And more than a toothache hurts.

As a shipwrecked sailor hates the sea,
Or a juggler hates a shove,
As a hostess detests unexpected guests,
That's how much you I love.

I love you more than a wasp can sting,
And more than the subway jerks,
I love you as much as a beggar needs a crutch,
And more than a hangnail irks.

I swear to you by the stars above,
And below, if such there be,
As the High Court loathes perjurious oathes,
That's how you're loved by me.

Topic(s) of this poem: valentine

Comments about To My Valentine by Ogden Nash

  • (2/13/2018 6:43:00 PM)

    The version quoted above is the earliest version but not the best. The two I quoted below are better and later versions He improves the poem and replaces some of the out of date lines with something equally or more witty. The pity is that the version quoted above is the only one you can find on the internet. I have noticed that the internet is very incestuous, copying endlessly what one person posts and never looking further. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • (2/13/2018 6:38:00 PM)

    When Nash and Weill wrote One Touch of Venus this poem was revised and rewritten with several new lines and additional verses which are amusing. The limitation on characters in this comment do not permit me to quote it but here are a few gems: As a dachshund abhors revolving doors. and, As much as a lifeguard hates to swim, / Or a writer hates to read, / As Hays office frowns on low cut gowns, /That's how much you I need. (Report) Reply

  • (2/13/2018 6:30:00 PM)

    In his book Marriage Lines: notes of a student husband, The poem was revised to something better. The character limitations on this comment do not allow me to fully quote it but here is the rewritten last verse

    I love you more than a bronco bucks,
    Or a Yale man cheers the Blue.
    Ask not what is this thing called love;
    It's what I'm in with you.
    (Report) Reply

  • Bharati Nayak (2/14/2017 10:54:00 PM)

    Love and hatred are two diagonally opposite emotions.A lover who is in deep passion may go through these two emotions - - if faced with betrayal.. (Report) Reply

  • (2/14/2017 10:43:00 PM)

    As the High Court loathes perjurious oaths.. Excellent conceptualization. Congrats on modern poem of the Day. (Report) Reply

  • (2/14/2017 6:25:00 PM)

    well-listed, Ogden. Your love her more sure than shootin. (Report) Reply

  • (2/14/2017 1:52:00 PM)

    The catbird lives in America and ''it is able to make two sounds at the same time.'' The first line is a kind of paronomasia- the bird hates itself or hates that small feline called cat. It is a disjunction needing metamorphosis. The catbird has an aggressive reaction against the predators. During the World War II, it was a tension between Axis and Allies, the second one including the United States.The poet expressed his feelings through this antagonism between love and hate. Any war involves aggressive methods to inflict the suffering. In fact, nothing happens during metamorphosis without suffering. Also, any criminal becomes aggressive in the imminence of being found.This aggressivity is an instinct. By comparison, love is a surviving instinct. This is the poet's dimension of love, a hyperbolic one. Much more, the poet swears in front of God because he needs to be credible. Any swear involves the divinity. Firstly, love needs the truth, the pure, fundamental truth. Excellent poem. Voted 10. (Report) Reply

  • Sylvaonyema Uba (2/14/2017 4:34:00 AM)

    Ii love you more than a duck can swim
    Well expressed.



    (Report) Reply

  • Indira Renganathan (2/14/2017 3:21:00 AM)

    Is there anything else more than this to say about one's love.....superb- 10++++ (Report) Reply

  • (2/14/2017 1:57:00 AM)

    tom allportah
    ah, a true love poem wrote in the master class? (Report) Reply

  • (2/27/2009 9:16:00 AM)

    after valentine's day, he taught this poem at his poetry corner. he told his students that he was not good feeling to teach today. during V's Day, i was in Guilin. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: cat, sea, valentine, love, hate, swimming, star

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Poem Edited: Wednesday, December 24, 2014

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