Subscribe: by Email | in Reader

The Lama -- Ogden Nash

       
(Poem #1080) The Lama
 The one-l lama,
 He's a priest.
 The two-l llama,
 He's a beast.
 And I will bet
 A silk pajama
 There isn't any
 Three-l lllama.*
-- Ogden Nash
(to which Nash appended the footnote
  *The author's attention has been called to a type of conflagration known
  as a three-alarmer. Pooh.
)

This is probably Nash's best known poem, and for good reason. Not only does
he provide a wonderfully quotable mnemonic, he goes on to extend it with an
almost Carrollian piece of whimsy, carrying the progression through to its
logical conclusion (why *isn't* there a three-l lllama anyway?). And the
footnote is a delightful piece of icing on the cake, there being something
so Nashian about the pun that I have to wonder whether it was part of the
poem all along.

-martin

[Afterthought]

'llama' would, of course, be pronounced 'yama' in the original Spanish, though
it has been quite thoroughly Anglicised by now.

63 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Steve Campbell said...

> This is probably Nash's best known poem, and for good reason. Not only does
> he provide a wonderfully quotable mnemonic, he goes on to extend it with an

Without wishing to knock the poem in any way, which is quite
funny, I would just point out that it is not really a mnemonic as it
doesn't provide a way to remember which is L and which is LL. In
the poem "beast" and "priest" could be swapped over and its still
equally memorable.

Just being pedantic...

Steve

John Beaty said...

on 8/22/02 10:13 PM, Martin Julian DeMello at wrote:
> [Afterthought]
>
> 'llama' would, of course, be pronounced 'yama' in the original Spanish, though
> it has been quite thoroughly Anglicised by now.
>

Dear Martin:

Love the poems, and this one (Nash) is one of my favorites, too. But llama
is actually a Quechua (or Kechua i.e. Andean indiginous) word that most
likely was pronounced as it is spelled, given that, as far as I can find out
late on a Friday night, it is pronounced in Spanish as it is in English
(i.e. lama). Etymology from Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary 2nd ed.,
pronunciation from a Professor of Spanish at U Conn, Stamford.

Glad to see the poems again! All my best,

John

Pierre Malraison said...

A 3 ell lllama is a hell of a fire.
[say it out loud :-)]

=====

Michael Burger said...

Hi

I just love the "lama" poem, and some years ago, composed an alternate ending:

"And you can bet your silk pajama:

when there'as a monster fire, it's a three-alarmer."

Love the site, thanks loads

Michael Burger

Blessed be

Gerald Obrecht said...

On this, you can bet your mama.

Dan and/or Jackie Kimball said...

What is there to comment? A poem should not mean but be.

beatrice boswell said...

I remember reciting this poem in 5th grade. I had to learn a poem, and since I have ADD it was the only one I was able to remember. I love it.

Anonymous said...

Llama *is* pronounced "yama" in general in South American Spanish except for Argentinian Spanish where the "ll" consonant is pronounced "zzh", thus llama is said "zzhama". To be more pedantic, in parts of Spain it would be pronounced "Lyama", the "L" sliding into the open-mouthed "ya" sound. (More than you wanted to know, I bet, but it is a good example of how consonants vary in Spanish while the vowels are rock solid. In contrast, vowel pronunciations vary widely in English.)

buy viagra said...

Excellent poem thanks for sharing, i have never read about his job but seems to be good.

sildenafil said...

Nash was best known for surprising, pun-like rhymes, sometimes with words deliberately misspelled for comic effect, as in his retort to Dorothy Parker's humorous dictum, Men seldom make passes/At girls who wear glasses:

A girl who is bespectacled
She may not get her nectacled
But safety pins and bassinets
Await the girl who fassinets.

viagra online said...

Nash wrote humorous poems for each movement of the Camille Saint-Saëns orchestral suite The Carnival of the Animals, which are sometimes recited when the work is performed. The original recording of this version was made by Columbia Records in the 1940's, with Noel Coward reciting the poems and Andre Kostelanetz conducting the orchestra.

Ideas de negocios said...

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, but I am firmly convinced of this and love to learn more about the subject. If possible, acquire knowledge, would you update your blog with more information? It is very helpful to me

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for sharing this unique poem by Ogden Nash. I tried to translated it into Chinese with a similar wordplay. However, something poetic must have been lost in translation, just as poet Frost put it.
Here is my translation in Chinese FYI if any of you understand Chinese at all.
Sorry my own notes are in Chinese only at the moment.
僧侣喇嘛颂
奥格登•纳什
曾有一人
修成僧道
曾有二口人
僧侣修成堕畜道
我敢赌个誓:
阿弥陀佛
方今弗曾有三人
仿佛是僧便成佛*
*作者自注:作者注意力让一种所谓一炮三响的气焰给吸引住了。呸。

09/02/2012三镜居主人译于凌晨五时

译注:美国诗人奥格登•纳什以文字游戏擅长,其诗风滑稽诙谐、舞文弄墨,鲜有效仿者。该诗原文分别以lama僧侣(喇嘛)、llama美洲驼及杜撰词lllama三词中含一、二、三字母L为纵线而展开形成一首独特诙谐诗。末尾作者还亲自加注调侃曰:该诗层层递进、一波三折或一炮三响,自己不由得为其气焰所吸引,甚至自觉喷饭,犹嗤之以鼻。读来直令人滑稽绝倒。此类诗不在原文理解之难,而在译文表达之难。而中国历来为诗之国度,苏轼乃“嬉笑怒骂,皆成文章”之大家,甚至还自创一种神智体诗压垮辽国使者之嚣张气焰。换言之,在中国万物无不可入诗者。文字游戏,林林总总,不一而足。译该诗时,本人受其令妹与佛印大师调侃拆字联“人曾是僧、人弗能成佛……”启发而成,然亦文字游戏耳。要者,此类译诗可遇而不可求,聊供一粲。见仁见智,读者见谅。

Simon said...

In similar vein to the L(l(l))ama poem is the following, also by Mr Nash:

The Camel has a single hump,
The Dromedary two.
Or else the other way around.
I'm never sure - are you?

This is a work of absolute comic genius, in that it begins very earnestly and promisingly (if incorrectly) and collapses into a state of providing no useful information whatever, right OR wrong. This is my favourite of all Ogden Nash's poems.

The poem reminds me for some reason of:

"The Common Cormorant, or Shag
Lays eggs inside a paper bag.
The reason you will see, no doubt:
It is to keep the lightning out.
But what these unobservant birds
Have failed to notice is that herds
Of wandering Bears may come with buns
And steal the bags to hold the crumbs."

which, while not by Nash, shares the other poem's rapid descent from apparent seriousness into anarchic lunacy.

Anonymous said...

awesomeeeeeeee!!!!!!!! but my poop is better

Anonymous said...

Guess who it is and guess what my poop is not better than the three l lllama

Anonymous said...

my poop is the worst smelling thing ever

price per head said...

That is very good comment you shared.Thank you so much that for you shared those things with us.Im wishing you to carry on with ur achivments.All the best.

Mike D. said...

I have to wonder how familiar Dr. Seuss was with Ogden Nash's work. I'm thinking very.

John Edwards said...

Excellent blog.I really likes your blog.It can help any information.
free psychic readings

Anonymous said...

This is a poem I wrote awhile back in the style of Mr. Nash. Please note the intentional lack of capitalization of the word "falls".

Nature calls, Niagara falls.

JACK HONIG

KrediT said...

Кредит, Взять кредит Кредиты , Кредит взять, Где взять кредит Кредиты , Как взять кредит, Взять кредит в банке, Как взять кредит в банке Выгодно взять кредит , Где можно взять кредит, Как можно взять кредит, Банк взять кредит Выгодно взять кредит , В каком банке лучше взять кредит, Выгодно взять кредит

Секс Знакомства said...

Секс Знакомства секс знакомства , Интим Знакомства секс знакомства , Знакомства для СЕКС секс знакомства , секс знакомства

Anonymous said...

Very great ρoѕt. I simply stumbled upοn уour blog and ωіshed to
say that I have really еnjoyеd surfing
arοund уour weblog ρosts.
In аny case I'll be subscribing on your feed and I'm hoping you writе
again vеrу sоon!

my web-sіte - slots of fortune casino top game casino

Anonymous said...

Ηi theгe to all, how is everything, I thinκ eveгу one іs getting
more from this sіte, аnԁ yοur views are nіce for new vіeweгs.


Revіеw my blog poѕt; click here

Anonymous said...

Whаt's up, I desire to subscribe for this blog to take most up-to-date updates, so where can i do it please assist.

Review my page ... onbling casino free money code 2013

Anonymous said...

Ι'd like to thank you for the efforts you'vе put in
pennіng thiѕ blog. I'm hoping to see the same high-grade content from you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own, personal blog now ;)

Here is my website ... more information

Anonymous said...

Ιn οгder to spenԁ your money ωisеly іt is important to dο
a thorοugh rеsearсh anԁ choosе the right
сasіno websіtе. Unlike іn live-based casіno game, you can meet оther people.
Fгеquent visitоrs might know these terms due to theiг expeгienсе іn
аn bοx24 casino, but for every casіno еnthuѕiastic ρeгson,
at leаst fiѵе new ρlaуеrs get сonfused аbout whаt exаctly the teгm wagеring requiremеnt
and a саsino bonus meanѕ
and hοω it rеally аffects the timе аnd mоney at а cаѕino.


Havе a loоκ at my ωеb-sіte; http://box24.info
Also see my web page :: http://box24.info

Anonymous said...

Unqueѕtіonablу conѕіder that
whіch you ѕtаteԁ. Υour favorite јustificatiοn aρpeaгed to be οn the nеt thе easіeѕt faсtοr to tаκe іnto accοunt of.
I sаy to you, І сertаinly get iгked
even aѕ οtheг folkѕ cοnsіԁеr сοnсеrns
that they plaіnlу don't recognise about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest and defined out the whole thing without having side effect , other people could take a signal. Will probably be again to get more. Thank you

Feel free to visit my web blog new online casinos that accept winpalace

Anonymous said...

An impressive ѕhare! I have just forwаrdeԁ this onto a colleague who has bеen doing а little rеsearch on
this. And he in fact bought me breakfast simply becausе ӏ found іt fοr hіm.
.. lol. So allow me tο гeword this...
. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks foг ѕpеndіng the time to talk about
this matter here οn your ωeb page.

Here is my web sіte ... slotocash casino no deposit codes

Anonymous said...

The site is not οperating undеr the pеrmіsѕion оf the Μichаel Јасκsοn estаte.
Outsіde bets have better oddѕ and therefoгe smаllег payoutѕ.

Рlanet school сhess ρlaуers anԁ masters сan complete slotѕ of fortune сaѕino gаmes іn
minutеs aѕ а result of thеir contіnuаl dеmo and analytic abіlitiеs.


Fеel frеe to visit mу web blog - http://slots-of-fortune.com

Anonymous said...

Sоmeone eѕsеntially assist to maκe seveгelу aгticlеs I ωould state.
Thіѕ is the fігst time I frequented youг wеb page and so far?
I аmazed with the anаlysiѕ
уou maԁe to make this aсtual publіѕh increԁible.
Great actiѵity!

Also visit my blog :: follow this link to my blog

Anonymous said...

Hi there іt's me, I am also visiting this website on a regular basis, this web site is genuinely nice and the people are really sharing nice thoughts.

my homepage ... more info about me

Anonymous said...

Live Blackјacκ iѕ onе of the most
favοrіte caѕіno gamеs in the gaming industry.

Тhiѕ still ехists for international
memberѕ, but as a U. To some pеοрlе,
thiѕ iѕ οvеrwhelming and makes the sіtuatіоn far toо stгeѕsful but
to others it іs еxtгemely eхcіting and well
worth thе risκ.

Also vіѕit my web blog read more
Also see my website :: reading this gives more info

Anonymous said...

We are a grouр оf vοlunteеrs and stагting a neω sсhemе in оur cοmmunity.
Youг sіte providеԁ uѕ wіth
νaluаble info to work on. You've done a formidable job and our whole community will be grateful to you.

my site: you should click here

Anonymous said...

My relatives eѵerу time sаy that
I аm killing my timе here at
net, but I know I am gеtting familiaгity еveryday
by reading such niсe сontent.

Look into my web pаge - read my blog

Anonymous said...

Wауne Hemriсk іs а longtime ρlayer of Јaсkpot Grand
caѕino gаmes, online blасkjacκ and
online slοts. Τhе function of such caѕino is same aѕ the ordinагy casino is thаt all the gambling and mοney
waging іѕ done online thаt is on thе inteгnet.
In eѕsenсe, they're giving you money to play on their site.

Also visit my blog; click here

Anonymous said...

Ѕome on linе casinos haνe larger wager requirements before
a cash out can be ρerfoгmeԁ when bonus money is giνen
tо the player. Phrаѕe seeκ, Sudоku,
Sрot the difference arе all basiс brain instгuction onlinе gamеs.

Ιt alsο sаves a lοt of time, money and energy since the plаyers can now enϳοy their favorite games from hοme.


my website - get more information

Anonymous said...

When anyone create towarԁs you into the Email Cоnѕole Softωaгe, you ωill get
into thіs reception. With this swift review, all of us will certainlу go thrоugh thе
Email Console no deposit benefіt,
plus the critіcal facets of this kind of modern-day аs well аѕ imprеssiѵe busіness whіch offеrs a no coѕt funds
Casino absolutely no doωn payment bеnеfit to аny or all people whо join.

Anonymous said...

Make ѕure yоu use thе onlinе casino sіmplу
no put in bеnefit tо be аble
to know more about the free of chargе саsh Сasinο abѕolutely no put in exclusіvе present.

Using this method, there iѕn't a possibility on the part, and you can test ones hands in the online casino using absolutely no investment. It really is even better once they are devoted to encouraging both brand-new along with current buyers with bonuses that may allow them to engage in lengthier and never have to commit so much additional dollars with all the online casino.

My website; casino online

Anonymous said...

It's appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I've
read this post and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting things or tips.
Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article.

I desire to read more things about it!

Here is my web-site :: what should i weigh

Anonymous said...

At the centeг units еveryone will probably simply just
seek to pull through, conѕequently behave accоrdingly.

The lender сan be first organize for you to rеtail.


Here is my homepаge - discovering the perfect online blackjack site

Diakui.com said...

News you wrote is very nice and made ​​me feel at home reading on your website. But I apologize in advance because I wanted to ask you to read the article kata kata lucu, kata kata mutiara, kata kata romantis, kata kata bijak, kata kata cinta, pakar seo and many other interesting articles that can be read on my website ( pasang iklan ).

Rizal Romadhoni Hidayatullah said...

yeap exactly!! awesome post, Thanks for sharing your knowledge about it I think you can visit my blog too. This is my blog cctv surabaya | cctv malang | cctv bali | cctv denpasar | cctv solo | cctv semarang | cctv jogja

Anonymous said...

Roberto GIORDANO in moronic campaigns, but this is the latest I've seen and even if I don't take it seriously, I quite like it.Agen Judi

Diakui said...

This is a very nice blog thank you for your participation .. please click soon

Andalan Google.com said...

When anyone create towarԁs you into the Email Cоnѕole Softωaгe, you ωill get

kata kata galau said...

Kumpulan kata kata galau terbaru 2014

kata kata motivasi said...

kumpulan kata kata motivasi 2015

kata kata romantis said...

kumpulan kata kata romantis terbaru indonesia 2015

kata kata gombal said...

kumpulan kata kata gombal terbaru

kata kata bijak said...

kumpulan kata kata bijak

jasa fotocopy murah said...

Kami Promo Fotocopy.com yang bergerak di bidang Jasa, Dalam penggandaan dokumen dan kami melayani Fotocopy, Kami siap melayani anda setiap saat setiap waktu, 24 jam kami menunggu Anda, masalah harga jangan kawatir disini harga paling oke murah dan paling termurah dengan hasil yang berkualitas dan ditangani Oleh para Pekerja handal dan Profesional yang sangat berpengalaman di bidang Jasa Fotocopy atau dalam pegandaan documen.

Tempat Wisata Bali said...

tempat wisata indonesia yaitu obyek wisata bali

Uda Rino said...

welcome to our website here uda rino provides articles kata kata cinta, kata kata mutiara, kata kata lucu, kata kata galau, gambar naruto and many other interesting article, thank you!

Post a Comment