You want DOGGEREL?

I'll give you doggerel!

There are lots of formally defined humorous verse forms: Limericks, double dactyls, ...

Doggerel is none of them.

Webster says doggerel is "loosely styled and irregular in measure especially for burlesque or comic effect; also : marked by triviality or inferiority."

I guess Ogden Nash was the most famous producer of doggerel, so famous that he is often automatically credited with having written pieces he had nothing to do with, such as "The Purple Cow:"

I never saw a purple cow,
I never hope to see one
But I can tell you anyhow,
I'd rather see than be one.

That bit of doggerel was written by Gelett Burgess, and if you have clicked on the link you aready know as much about him as I do ... Except that he wrote a delightful poem, "Dighton is Engaged," which I ran across several years ago and then couldn't find again until Hugh Clary answered my appeal in alt.jokes.limericks and gave me a link. I have a copy of it to share with you here along with a little commentary.

My favorite Ogden Nash verse is

Love is a word that is constantly heard,
Hate is a word that is not.
Love, I am told, is more precious than gold
Love, I have read, is Hot.
But Hate is the verb that to me is superb,
And Love but a drug on the mart.
Any kiddie in school can love like a fool,
But Hating, my boy, is an Art.

My wife's favorite bit of doggerel -- I don't know who the author was --

The sexual desires of the camel
Are stronger than anyone thinks
One night in a seizure of passion
He tried to make love to the sphinx
Now the Sphinx is made our of sandstone
And rocks that outcrop on the Nile
Which accounts for the hump on the camel
And the sphinx's inscrutable smile