Poem – Curl Up and Diet

The following is a poem by Ogden Nash — had me in stitches, and if it doesn’t have you in stitches, you must already have had some in your head. :)

Some ladies smoke too much and some ladies drink too much and some ladies pray too much,
But all ladies think that they weigh too much.
They may be as slender as a sylph or a dryad,
But just let them get on the scales and they embark on a doleful jeremiad:
No matter how low the figure the needle happens to touch,
They always claim it is at least five pounds to much;
To the world she may appear slinky and feline,
But she inspects herself in the mirror and cries, Oh, I look like a sea lion.
Yes, she tells you she is growing into the shape of a sea cow or manatee,
And if you say No, my dear, she says you are just lying to make her feel better, and if you say Yes, my dear, you injure her vanity.
Once upon a time there was a girl more beautiful and witty and charming than tongue can tell,
And she is now a dangerous raving maniac in a padded cell,
And the first indication her friends and relatives had that she was mentally overwrought
Was one day when she said, I weigh a hundred and twenty-seven, which is exactly what I ought.
Oh, often I am haunted
By the thought that somebody might someday discover a diet that would let ladies reduce just as much as they wanted,
Because I wonder if there is a woman in the world strong-minded enough to shed ten pounds or twenty,
And say There now, that’s plenty;
And I fear me one ten-pound loss would only arouse the craving for another,
So it wouldn’t do any good for ladies to get their ambition and look like somebody’s fourteen-year-old brother,
Because, having accomplished this with ease,
They would next want to look like somebody’s fourteen-year-old brother in the final stages of some obscure disease,
And the more success you have the more you want to get of it,
So then their goal would be to look like somebody’s fourteen-year-old brother’s ghost, or rather not the ghost itself, which is fairly solid, but a silhouette of it,
So I think it is very nice for ladies to be lithe and lissome.
But not so much so that you cut yourself if you happen to embrace or kissome.

— Ogden Nash, Curl Up and Diet

13 thoughts on “Poem – Curl Up and Diet

  1. I love this poem and have given it to all my female friends to laugh over, which they did.

    You might enjoy this humorous poem:

    An Attempt At Unrhymed Verse – Wendy Cope

    People tell you all the time,
    Poems do not have to rhyme.
    It’s often better if they don’t
    And I’m determined this one won’t.
    Oh dear.

    Never mind, I’ll start again.
    Busy, busy with my pen…cil.
    I can do it if I try–
    Easy, peasy, pudding and gherkins.

    Writing verse is so much fun,
    Cheering as the summer weather,
    Makes you feel alert and bright,
    ‘Specially when you get it more or
    less the way you want it.

    Alternatively, look up: ‘Reading an Anthology of Chinese Poems of the Sung Dynasty, I Pause To Admire the Length and Clarity of Their Titles – Billy Collins’. It’s too long to post but is fiendishly funny nevertheless!

  2. I love this poem, brilliant, especially the bit about the 14 year old boy. Genius. Funny and so very true.

  3. if you read and understand the poem properly you actually realise its quite a serious matter and its actually true and does happen!

  4. Thanks! :)
    I can see both sides of the poem but the serious side attracts my attetntion!
    Thanks hola and yo!
    :):):):):):):):):):):)
    YO!

  5. My anarchic sense of humour loves the work of Ogden Nash, the indiscriminate length of line, and the eccentric and unpredictable rhymes. I reckon there’s a performance opportunity here, getting the audience to listen to a recital and guess the final rhymes, like “get of it” with “silhouette of it”.

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