Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ogden Nash (on Daf Yomi)

Had Mr. Nash known about what Harav Meir' Shapiro had wrought, he would have titled his poem "The Daf Yomi Yid."

Oft in the stilly night,
When the mind is fumbling fuzzily,
I brood about how little I know,
And know that little so muzzily.
Ere slumber's chains have bound me,
I think it would suit me nicely,
If I knew one tenth of the little I Know,
But knew that tenth precisely.
Gently my eyelids close;
I'd rather be good than clever;
And I'd rather have my facts all wrong
Then have no facts whatever.


  1. Awesome! I love it. (Res Ipsa Loquitor) One of my favorite Ogden Nash poems speaks the folly of being too medayek in the details and not focusing Klaliyusdik issues (Ad vitam aut culpum):

    The Purist, by Ogden Nash

    I give you now Professor Twist
    A consciencious scientist
    Trustees exclaimed, "He never bungles!"
    And sent him off to distant jungles
    Camped along a tropic riverside
    One day he missed his loving bride.
    She had, the guide informed him later
    Been eaten by an alligator.
    Professor Twist could not but smile...
    You mean, he said, a crocodile.

  2. My kids learned to tolerate our Ogden Nash hobby as they grew up. Professor Twist is one of our favorites too, along with The Turtle (The turtle lives 'twixt plated decks...) and The Centipede (I objurgate you, Centipede...).
    Thanks for writing.

    Are you baiting me with the Latin???? Actually, the reason I don't like Latin is when people use it like cosmetics on a corpse, to make something stupid look profound, or when they could use a perfectly adequate hebrew phrase, but choose Latin; like imitatio dei, which is replete with Christian theological applications, when they could say "vehalachta bidrachav"

  3. Yes, I'm just trying to pick a fight with the gratuitous and senseless use of Latin. :-) I agree with your point though. It's like people who use the word "gratuitious" gratuitously. It's just pretentious and, like you said, is often used to cover up the emptiness of the speaker's/writers point.

  4. what of the gratuitous use of the word ontological?

  5. Gratuitous Ontology,
    Is a symptom of aberrant psychology.

    I think that the Syllabus for Philosophy: Formal,
    Can be used for case studies in Psychology: Abnormal.

  6. i don't begin to understand the conversation, but like להבדיל when שני ת"ח מנגחים (מנצחים) זא"ז it is enjoyable to just be a bystander