The Wit, Whimsy, Wisdom, and Wordplay of Bernard Rasof, PhD

Including but Not Limited to Virtuous Limericks, Rhymes of No Reason, Restaurant Reviews, Shaggy Doggerel, Vapid Variations, Nonsense, and More (or Less)

Here at last is the book by my dad that you have been waiting for, possibly since the 1940s, when he first began talking up the book he was going to write, but more likely in your lifetime. As it turns out, alas, this is not that book, which was to have been the end-all mathematics textbook on differential equations.

Instead, this book is a collection of his humorous writing, culled from hundreds if not thousands of pages of limericks, one-liners, stories in verse, regular-old poems, and items not in any poetic form known to humankind.

My dad liked to group his writings by category—for example, limericks, restaurant reviews, eclectic vignettes. But because of his habit of revising everything multiple times, these categories were not fixed. Thus you might find a poem in the limerick section one day and in the vignette (vignette, not vinaigrette, although my dad enjoying cooking) section the next. To simplify matters, I reduced the number of categories and didn’t worry so much about whether a poem was or wasn’t a limerick, to use just one example. To effect this, I used his rubric Diverse Verse as a catch-all term for work that didn’t clearly fit a better-defined category, like Restaurant Review.

He also liked alphabetizing items in the categories, although sometimes the letter he worked off of was not what you would expect, namely, the title of the poem or the first word of a line. Instead, it might be the last letter in the first line. In most regular-old poetry books the poems most likely are arranged thematically rather than alphabetically. That said, I decided to organize the poems alphabetically within categories using what I hope is a logical approach to alphabetic schemes. If that logic sometimes evades you, rest assured that it sometimes evaded me too.

My father might be rolling over in his grave at what I have done, or he might be thankful that eventually I got everything into a nice little book for your reading pleasure. I hope the latter. He was a perfectionist, which is why he never published the math book or a book of his humorous writings. I have been told that I’m a perfectionist, too, but these days I am starting to look the other way more often and say “good enough” about my various projects—including, I hope you will agree, this book of my dad’s humor.

ALERT! “Flaw in the Flue” on page 8 of the printed book actually was written by and © Ogden Nash (19021971), one of my dad’s favorite practitioners of light verse. Apologies to the current copyright holder and to Mr. Nash, wherever he may be. This poem has been removed from the .pdf version of the book (see below).

The print edition of the book is now available for $15 plus shipping and sales tax. To order now using PayPal or your credit card, click the top button below:

To order large quantities via PayPal or credit card (more than five copies), please contact me first at [email protected] for a total price on the number of copies you specify, especially if you live outside the U.S. Contact me at [email protected] if you live overseas and have trouble paying with PayPal.

If you can’t wait, here is a link to an electronic (.pdf) file of the book:

The Wit, Whimsy, Wisdom, and Wordplay of Bernard Rasof, PhD.  Please note that one poem in the printed book is not in this .pdf: “Flaw in the Flue,” which turned out to have been written by Ogden Nash and not by my dad.

Happy reading!!!


Henry Rasof