The Purple Cow Poem
Have you ever read or even heard of Gelett Burgess’ Poem The Purple Cow? Sometimes it is okay to go down the rabbit hole because you never know where it might lead. Acting on your curiosity often leads to wonderful discoveries. I was reading John Forde’s e-newsletter article, “Short Words, Bigger Word Power,” in which he talks about his friend David Deutsch giving him Gelett Burgess’ essay “Short Words Are Words of Might.”
Gelett Burgess & The Purple Cow
I have never heard of Gelett Burgess. According to Wikipedia, “Frank Gelett Burgess was an artist, art critic, poet, author and humorist.” Also, the name of the short essay intrigued me so I wanted to find out more. I conducted an internet search and came across the poem, The Purple Cow, and got the idea for this blog post. Who wouldn’t like to learn more about a purple cow. If you are interested in Gelett Burgess’ work, I have included two of his books below for your convenience.
The 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.
By Gelett Burgess (1866 – 1951)
What The Purple Cow Poem Means to Me!
What is a purple cow? Cows are not purple, so a purple cow must be an anomaly. Reading the Wikipedia entries for the many ways in which the purple cow phrase is used, it states, “the examples retain the common theme of a sense of something out of the ordinary.” The poem also reminded me of Seth Godin’s book, Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable, which I read over five years ago.
The subtitle – Reflections on a Mythic Beast Who’s Quite Remarkable, at Least – for the poem is very telling. A Purple Cow is a metaphor for something that is out of the ordinary, something remarkable. Would you want to have experiences that are out of the ordinary? I would! And, would you want to be a Purple Cow?
Standing out is not necessarily a bad thing. What if you were a pioneer? Wouldn’t it feel great to be a leader, to establish a trend, to be first to market?
Today, too many people conform, and many do not want to take a chance and be that Purple Cow, to stand out from the rest. To conform is to be comfortable, and many of us like to feel comfortable.
Final Thoughts: What Does Gelett Burgess’ Poem The Purple Cow Mean?
How about for today, we step outside of our comfort zone, and do something that is not very comfortable, do something remarkable.I may be out to lunch, and that is okay, but, what does The Purple Cow poem mean to you? And would you want to be a Purple Cow, even if it is only for today?
Photo Credits: Public Domain