The poems, "Complaint to Four Angels" and "Man Bites Dog-Days," by Ogden Nash are both affectionate vignettes of the American life and domestic routines that evocatively captures their respective states. While "Complaint to Four Angels" has a bedroom setting and focuses on the difficulty of falling asleep, "Man Bites Dog-Days" highlights the cynical tone towards the season of summer. Despite the differences in texts, however, Nash creates humor in his mundane-themed poetry by using literary features which gives a playful aspect and entertainment for the audience. Thus, it is essential to explore how the light verse and humor in Nash's poetry reflects and contributes to the everyday lifestyle of American society.
Humor within the two poems is formed by using an adventurous rhyming scheme, archaic diction, and imagery to further establish Nash's light poetry. "Complaint to Four Angels" has a title that sounds sophisticated as it addresses a power higher. We then come to notice that it has nothing more than a humdrum subject on not being able to fall asleep. Consisting of nine stanzas with four lines each, this poem is covered with rhyme patterning a-a-b-b throughout. The rhyme not only gives the audience an easy flow to recite the poem with, but the irregular meter used by Nash deliberately creates a jarring rhythm to the audience and results in a humor. .
The ninth stanza begins with, .
"The angels who should guard my bed .
I fear are slumbering instead," .
where a rhythm is evident, giving effortless flow, then continues on to, .
"O angels, please resume your hovering" .
a sudden change in meter prior to this line. This is then successfully paired with the last line of the poem, .
"I'll sleep and you adjust the covering." .
The change in meter that was unusual became humorous with the last rhyme of the poem. .
Another example of an unconventional and creative rhyming scheme gave Nash the opportunity to use a Spanish word in the sixth stanza, rhyming "nirvana" with "manana," which means tomorrow or sometime in the future.