Raj Bandyopadhyay sent in an excellent followup to his previous poem [Poem #1179]:
(Poem #1181) Elephants Are Different to Different People
Wilson and Pilcer and Snack stood before the zoo elephant. Wilson said, "What is its name? Is it from Asia or Africa? Who feeds it? Is it a he or a she? How old is it? Do they have twins? How much does it cost to feed? How much does it weigh? If it dies, how much will another one cost? If it dies, what will they use the bones, the fat, and the hide for? What use is it besides to look at?" Pilcer didn't have any questions; he was murmering to himself, "It's a house by itself, walls and windows, the ears came from tall cornfields, by God; the architect of those legs was a workman, by God; he stands like a bridge out across the deep water; the face is sad and the eyes are kind; I know elephants are good to babies." Snack looked up and down and at last said to himself, "He's a tough son-of-a-gun outside and I'll bet he's got a strong heart, I'll bet he's strong as a copper-riveted boiler inside." They didn't put up any arguments. They didn't throw anything in each other's faces. Three men saw the elephant three ways And let it go at that. They didn't spoil a sunny Sunday afternoon; "Sunday comes only once a week," they told each other.
Very unorthodox poem. And the way the world should be! Here are three men who are not blind! Will leave to the reader to look for the metaphors. Wish more people read this. Raj [Martin adds] Brilliant poem, but here's the thing - I *had* read it, several years ago. And I naturally did make the connection to 'Blind Men', and like Raj, enthusiastically showed it to several people, who also appreciated it. But - until I was reminded of it just now - I'd since forgotten it entirely, while I can quote most of Saxe's poem from memory. As perfect a demonstration of the value of rhyme and rhythm as any I've seen. martin P.S. For another nice combination of famous poem and deserving but relatively unknown followup, see Poem #355 and Poem #357