“A bit of talcum
Is always walcum.

O Nash, “Reflection on Babies”

This tiny rhyme is almost an epitaph for Nash’s poems. The unexpected, absurd neologism that makes the rhyme and brings the chuckle is a hallmark of his brilliant light verses. Never (or seldom) acid, they have a ring of smartness without arrogance, as if they were something that you might have come up with, if only you had his ear, his cleverness, and his nerve.