Saturday, January 30, 2016

The House Of Burgess

Gelett Burgess was born 160 years ago today.  In his day he was a fairly well known critic, poet, author and wit.

He did much work, almost all of it forgotten.  In fact, if he hadn't written one deathless poem, I doubt we'd ever hear his name.

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!

"The Purple Cow" became, by far, the most famous thing he ever wrote.  In fact, he got so tired of it a few years later he wrote this:

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!

You may have been sorry then, Gelett, but would you complain now about the four lines that brought you immortality?

By the way, he also invented the world "blurb" and the meaning of "bromide" as something trite or unoriginal.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe if he had a snazzy nickname like "Smoky" he wouldn't have been anonymously immortal

4:57 AM, January 30, 2016  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the collar that makes him unmemorable.

12:53 PM, January 30, 2016  

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