To appreciate nonsense requires a serious interest in life.
~Gelett Burgess

The Burgess Nonsense Book

Frank Gelett Burgess was born on January 30, 1866 in Boston, his greatest gift to literature was fiction and comic verse. He began his early career as a draftsman, became an instructor at the University of California at Berkeley and worked as an editor at The Lark in San Francisco from 1895 to 1897. Moving to New York in 1897 he married Estelle Loomis (1914) and they lived in Paris during World War I. He passed away in Carmel, California on September 18, 1951.

A vast contributor to magazines, he published humorous novels, poems, and stories, including his elaborately illustrated The Burgess Nonsense Book (1901).

To him who vainly conjures sleep
In counting visionary sheep;
To her who, in the dentist's power
Would fain recall a gayer hour;
To him who visits tiresome aunts,
And comes upon this book by chance;
To her who in the hammock lies,
And, bored with Ibsen, BURGESS tries;
To those who can't remember dates
While nonsense rhymes stick in their pates;
To those who buy, and do not borrow,
Nor put it off until to-morrow;
To all who in these pages look,
I dedicate this Nonsense Book!

(Epigraph to The Burgess Nonsense Book)

Index of Poems

An Alphabet of Famous Goops
The Floorless Room
The Lazy Roof
My Feet
On Digital Extremities
The Purple Cow
The Purple Cow: Suite
A Woman's Reason

The name of the original text was titled The Burgess Nonsense Book Being a Complete Collection of the Humorous Masterpieces of Gelett Burgess, Esq. (New York: Frederick A. Stokes, 1901). The first publication date is unknown. Selected poems are out of copyright and are in public domain.

Public domain text and information was taken from Representative Poetry Online:

CST Approved

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