What the poem doesn't say the subtitle does - do I really need to comment on it? Burgess, incidentally, grew increasingly annoyed by the fact that he was known mainly for 'The Purple Cow', and eventually wrote the following followup: 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! -- Gelett Burgess Biography: Burgess, Gelett b. Jan. 30, 1866, Boston, Mass., U.S. d. Sept. 17, 1951, Carmel, Calif. in full FRANK GELETT BURGESS, American humorist and illustrator, best known for a single, early, whimsical quatrain: [The Purple Cow] Burgess was educated as an engineer and worked briefly for a railroad in that capacity. Between 1891 and 1894 he taught topographical drawing at the University of California. In 1895 Burgess became the founding editor of Lark, a humour magazine, and in 1897 he began to publish books of his self-illustrated whimsical writings. Burgess' humour was based upon the sudden break of ideas: a substitution of the unexpected for the commonplace. Among his best-known works are Goops and How to Be Them (1900) and subsequent books on Goops (bad-mannered children). He is credited with adding several words to the English language, including blurb. Among his many other works are Are You a Bromide? (1906), Why Men Hate Women (1927), and Look Eleven Years Younger (1937). -- EB blurb blArb. slang (orig. U.S.). [See note below.] A brief descriptive paragraph or note of the contents or character of a book, printed as a commendatory advertisement, on the jacket or wrapper of a newly published book. Hence in extended use: a descriptive or commendatory paragraph. Also Comb. Said to have been originated in 1907 by Gelett Burgess in a comic book jacket embellished with a drawing of a pulchritudinous young lady whom he facetiously dubbed Miss Blinda Blurb. (D.A.) See Mencken Amer. Lang. Suppl. I. 329. -- OED Parodies: <[broken link] http://www.purplecow.com/weird/poetry/> The Wordsworth one, at least, is worth a read. m.