I never saw a purple cow…

11 02 2009

As promised, I present the color purple!

Purple was the favorite color of Egypt’s Cleopatra, and while the color is traditionally associated with royalty in many cultures, it is the color of mourning for widows in Thailand. It is also a color associated with wisdom and spirituality.

No matter the symbolism, it is a color that is abundant in my garden. I particular like paring it with bright yellow and green. One of my favorite purple + green combos is in the collage below—the purple iris against a backdrop of lime green groundcover (Creeping Jenny, perhaps?), photographed at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond, Virginia a few years ago.

Purple Cow by Gelett Burgess
I never saw a purple cow
I hope I never see one;
But I can tell you anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one.

I also found “purple cow parodies” online and there are some funny ones—based on the works of Poe, Dickinson, Keats, Wordsworth and Kipling. Check them out here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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10 responses

11 02 2009
Deb

Beautiful, now I must go check out the cows.

11 02 2009
Jennie

Gorgeous photos. You must have a lovely garden.

11 02 2009
cindydyer

Thanks, Jennie! I’m pretty proud of it when it’s in full bloom. When it has gone dormant, I feel quite sad. Of course, when the garden is dormant, I get to go do the other things I love to do! Can’t have one without the other, that’s for sure.

I’m enjoying your blog, too!

13 02 2009
SBL image colouring

Beautiful pictures. Love those flowers…

13 02 2009
gumboots

I love your photos! People might think it is easy to get a good photo with digital cameras these days… Pfft to them I say. I can take up to 200 of the one bloody thing and not get any as good as these!

18 02 2009
Lucy

Even the cabbage looks beautiful

21 02 2009
cindydyer

Gumboots,

Thank you so much for the wonderful comment. Next time you’re in the states, stop by and I’ll give you some photography points so you can increase your great-shot-ratio! 🙂

5 09 2009
Richard

The photos are great!!! Purple Cow was, I thought, written by Ogden Nash.
Maybe the difference from Nash’s and Burgess’ is in the third line. “But I can tell you this right now,” or “But I can tell you anyhow..”

5 09 2009
Richard

You must be right. Sorry. But I had done a web search on the first line of the poem and came up with a page that had a two verse poem saying it was by Ogden Nash. I’m not enought of an expert to figure it out. Anyway, a fun poem.

5 09 2009
cindydyer

Hi Richard,

It was first attributed to Burgess in 1895, so he is apparently the originator (if not the one most often referenced). Then Robert Kane did a take on it, followed by Odgen Nash, and then Tim Montgomery. I found this other version by Nash:

I never saw a purple cow,
I never hope to see one;
But from the milk we’re getting now,
There certainly must be one.

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