Monday, August 27, 2007

I Saw A Peacock

Not really I haven't seen one in 8 years. It's the given name of an anonymous poem that is a masterpiece of ingenuity. I heard it in a ChannelNewsAsia TV ad and immediately gained interest. I never decoded it until I searched it up on Google.

Well it goes like this:
I saw a peacock with a fiery tail
I saw a blazing comet drop down hail
I saw a cloud with ivy circled round
I saw a sturdy oak creep on the ground
I saw a pismire swallow up a whale
I saw a raging sea brim full of ale
I saw a Venice glass sixteen foot deep
I saw a well full of men’s tears that weep
I saw their eyes all in a flame of fire
I saw a house as big as the moon and higher
I saw the sun even in the midst of night
I saw the man who saw this wondrous sight

Well when you first read this, you assume it to be figurative. For example, a peacock doesn't exactly have a fiery tail, neither can a pismire (an ant) swallow up a whale, or a house be as big as the moon. However, there is a round-around method to make complete sense of this poem. Scroll down a bit if you want to see it.








I saw a peacock,
with a fiery tail I saw a blazing comet,
drop down hail I saw a cloud,
with ivy circled round I saw a sturdy oak,
creep on the ground I saw a pismire,
swallow up a whale I saw a raging sea,
brim full of ale I saw a Venice glass,
sixteen foot deep I saw a well full of men’s tears that weep,
I saw their eyes,
all in a flame of fire I saw a house,
as big as the moon and higher I saw the sun,
even in the midst of night,
I saw the man who saw this wondrous sight,

Tada, amazing isn't it! Oh if you really didn't get it... basically what happens is that the end of the first clause is the end of the second clause... so you get...

I saw a peacock,
I saw a blazing comet with a fiery tail,
I saw a cloud drop down hail,
I saw a sturdy oak with ivy circled round,
I saw a pismire creep on the ground,
I saw a raging sea swallow up a whale,
I saw a Venice glass brim full of ale,
I saw a well sixteen foot deep,
I saw their eyes full of men’s tears that weep,
I saw a house all in a flame of fire,
I saw the sun as big as the moon and higher,
I saw the man even in the midst of night who saw this wondrous sight.

2 comments:

Roy said...

Wow! Thanks for the decoding.

My 7-year old son came across this poem in a poetry book and it is his current favorite. He also likes to draw and did a drawing of each clause (i.e "a peacock with a fiery tail"). He could not come up with a visual for "a Venice glass sixteen foot deep". So, I told him I would research it online to find out what it means (as I had absolutely no clue!).

Well, it will be a fun conversation with him tomorrow. :-)

Thanks,
Roy

potato said...

haha thanks a lot! i love this poem either way