Just Keep Quiet And Nobody Will Notice

There is one thing that ought to be taught in all the colleges,
Which is that people ought to be taught not to go around always making apologies.
I don’t mean the kind of apologies people make when they run over you or borrow five
dollars or step on your feet,
Because I think that is sort of sweet;
No, I object to one kind of apology alone,
Which is when people spend their time and yours apologizing for everything they own.
You go to their house for a meal,
And they apologize because the anchovies aren’t caviar or the partridge is veal;
They apologize privately for the crudeness of the other guests,
And they apologzie publicly for their wife’s housekeeping or their husband’s jests;
If they give you a book by Dickens they apologize because it isn’t by Scott,
And if they take you to the teahter, the apologize for the acting and the dialogue and the
plot;
They contain more milk of human kindness than the most capacious diary can,
But if you are from out of town they apologize for everything local and if you are a
foreigner they apologize for everything American.
I dread these apologizers even as I am depicting them,
I shudder as I think of the hours that must be spend in contradicting them,
Because you are very rude if you let them emerge from an argument victorious,
And when they say something of theirs is awful, it is your duty to convince them politely
that it is magnificent and glorious,
And what particularly bores me with them,
Is that half the time you have to politely contradict them when you rudely agree with
them,
So I think there is one rule every host and hostess ought to keep with the comb and nail
file and bicarbonate and aromatic spirits on a handy shelf,
Which is don’t spoil the denouement by telling the guests everything is terrible, but let
them have the thrill of finding it out for themselves.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Ogden Nash's poem Just Keep Quiet And Nobody Will Notice

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem by Ogden Nash better? If accepted, your analysis will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.