The Blind Man And The Elephant Poem by John Godfrey Saxe

The Blind Man And The Elephant

Rating: 2.9

It was six men of Indostan, to learning much inclined,
who went to see the elephant (Though all of them were blind),
that each by observation, might satisfy his mind.

The first approached the elephant, and, happening to fall,
against his broad and sturdy side, at once began to bawl:
'God bless me! but the elephant, is nothing but a wall!'

The second feeling of the tusk, cried: 'Ho! what have we here,
so very round and smooth and sharp? To me tis mighty clear,
this wonder of an elephant, is very like a spear!'

The third approached the animal, and, happening to take,
the squirming trunk within his hands, 'I see,' quoth he,
the elephant is very like a snake!'

The fourth reached out his eager hand, and felt about the knee:
'What most this wondrous beast is like, is mighty plain,' quoth he;
'Tis clear enough the elephant is very like a tree.'

The fifth, who chanced to touch the ear, Said; 'E'en the blindest man
can tell what this resembles most; Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an elephant, is very like a fan!'

The sixth no sooner had begun, about the beast to grope,
than, seizing on the swinging tail, that fell within his scope,
'I see,' quothe he, 'the elephant is very like a rope!'

And so these men of Indostan, disputed loud and long,
each in his own opinion, exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right, and all were in the wrong!

So, oft in theologic wars, the disputants, I ween,
tread on in utter ignorance, of what each other mean,
and prate about the elephant, not one of them has seen!

Mecha Hitler 07 February 2019

I hate this poem ooooooooooooooooooooooo

5 13 Reply
Rajnish Manga 20 September 2015

This story is part of the Indian folklore and is enjoyed by all- young or old. The poetic representation has an added flavour. Unless we adopt a holistic approach, we cannot understand any concept or a theory or a reality. Great poem.

9 8 Reply
Terry Craddock 20 September 2015

Clever humorous and entertaining, a wonderful poem for young and old, especially children; this famous tale has more versions than cats have lives, but the moral should be when blind examine the entire animal for detail and consider all the facts.

10 5 Reply
Kim Barney 20 September 2015

This is a great poem that shows how people can interpret things in different ways when each of them has only part of the truth. I first read it many years ago and it has always been one of my favorites. However, the title is wrong. It should be 'The blind MEN and the elephant'.

8 5 Reply
Thijd 16 March 2018


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Jaydon 06 April 2021

Thought provoking! WE are the blind men until God opens our eyes.

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Liam 19 March 2021

I love the book so much

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Tirtha 13 March 2021

there was a solution in the original story...Faith is not blind; there is seeing faith also! ! ! !

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Tirtha 13 March 2021

The ending was a complete let-down. In the original story taken from an old Indian story,

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Janvi 29 September 2020

Please tell the poetic device in this poem and in which stanza

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