daphne and laura and so forth analysis
“Daphne and Laura and So Forth” is a poem by Ogden Nash that humorously describes the common names that are given to women. The poem is a commentary on the tendency of people to choose common and predictable names for their children, especially girls. Here is a brief analysis of the poem:
The first stanza of the poem sets the tone by saying that there are many women with common names, and that if you meet one woman with a common name, you have met them all.
The second stanza lists some of the common names for women, such as Daphne, Laura, and Betty. The poet uses wordplay to describe how these names sound, such as “sibilant and soft and low” for Daphne and “staccato and peremptory” for Betty. The use of different sounds to describe the names emphasizes their distinctiveness and yet their predictability.
The third stanza continues the list of common names for women, including Mary, Alice, and Jane. The poet suggests that these names are so common that they are interchangeable, saying “they all look alike” and “they all sound the same”.
The final stanza of the poem presents a humorous twist. The poet says that despite the commonness of these names, they are still “the sweetest names a man can know”. The poem ends with the idea that although these names may be common and predictable, they are still beloved and cherished by many.
Overall, the poem is a lighthearted commentary on the tendency of people to choose common and predictable names for their children, and how these names can become a source of comfort and familiarity. The poem is also a playful tribute to the many women who bear these names and the affection that they inspire.