Sunday, January 30, 2011

Happy Birthday, Gelett

gelett burgess
Today in Boston in 1866 (Frank) Gelett Burgess was born.

He wrote more than 35 books of fiction and nonfiction, including Lady Méchante or Life As It Should Be (which is funny), as well as several plays, and he coined the word "blurb". But he is best known for this (which has a title I never knew till today):
Purple Cow: Reflections on a Mythic Beast Who's Quite Remarkable, at Least

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.
This poem haunted his life , eventually causing him to write this little sequel:
Confession: and a Portrait Too, Upon a Background that I Rue

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.

(But he's dead, so I'm not afraid.)

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