To My Valentine
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 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 oaths,
That’s how much you’re loved by me.
Ogden Nash (1902-1971) started work writing advertising copy for Doubleday, Page Publishing, New York, in 1925.
He went on to publish his first book for children, The Cricket of Caradon, in 1925, and his first poem, Spring Comes to Murray Hill, in New Yorker magazine in 1930. Joining the New Yorker in 1932, he was briefly the great Dorothy Parker’s editor. I’ll bet that cost him some sleep. In all, he published 19 books of poetry. Light verse though it was, he was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1950.