‘I Saw a Peacock with a Fiery Tail’ is an anonymous 17th century English folk ‘trick verse’ poem. This means that at first read it seems nonsensical, but when the sentences are broken up in the middle of each line, it begins to make perfect sense. The collaboration between the Indian Gond artist Ram Singh Urveti and the Brazilian designer Jonathan Yamakami (at that time working for Tara Books) lasted 2 years, but what an amazing book they created. One of the best books published in 2011. Astonishing work!
I saw a peacock / with a fiery tail, I saw a blazing comet / drop down hail,
I saw a cloud / with ivy circled around, I saw a sturdy oak / creep on the ground,
I saw a ant / 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 / that saw this wondrous sight.