Purple Cow author (the original)

On September 17, 1951, Gelett Burgess died at age 85 in Carmel,
California. After graduating from MIT with an engineering degree in 1887,
he worked for several years in a technical capacity before turning to his
true love, writing and illustrating. Burgess will always be remembered
for two contributions to American culture. He invented the word “blurb”
and he authored a famous whimsical quatrain:

“I never saw a purple cow,
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one.”

Originally written in 1895, the poem became so famous it overshadowed
everything else Burgess ever did. At one point, it even led the
disgruntled poet to write a poetic rejoinder:

“Ah yes, I wrote The Purple Cow,
I’m sorry now I wrote it;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’ll kill you if you quote it!”

In his 1916 book “The Romance of the Commonplace,” Burgess offered a
famous oxymoronic observation:

“To appreciate nonsense requires a serious interest in life.”

from This entry was posted in Books and Reading, Life in General by Suzi. Bookmark the permalink.