Though I have chosen to leave the task of noding his more quaintly racist and sexist poems to a more dedicated archivist, I do not think anyone can contest his title as the unabashed laureate of American doggerel
. As a machine for producing linguistically-whimsical aphorism
s he was unsurpassed in this century by anyone, and perhaps the only other contemporary high-calibre poet of his tragicomic
genre would be Dorothy Parker
- somewhere right now the two of them are making angels (or worms) groan. Following is a list of volumes of his verse and wit:
Hard Lines (1931), I'm a Stranger Here Myself (1938), The Face is Familiar (1940), Good Intentions (1942), Many Long Years Ago (1945), Selected Verse (1946), Versus (1949), Parents Keep Out (1951), The Private Dining Room (1953), You Can't Get There From Here (1957), The Christmas That Almost Wasn't (1957), Everyone But Thee and Me (1962), Marriage Lines (1964), The Untold Adventures of Santa Claus (1964), There's Always Another Windmill (1968), Bed Riddance (1970), The Old Dog Barks Backwards (1972).
As well, he wrote lyrics for Kurt Weill
in One Touch of Venus
(1943) and Two's Company
His wandering lyrical lines are reputedly in homage to the "the Sweet Singer of Michigan" Julia Moore.