John Godfrey Saxe was born on June 2, 1816 in Vermont to strict Methodist parents. He graduated from college in 1839 and became a lawyer. Bored with legal work, he began to write satirical poems, ridiculing and making fun of human vices or weaknesses, which quickly became popular. Saxe became a newspaper editor, and a sought after speaker. He published his poetry in Harper’s, The Atlantic, and the Knickerbocker. “The Rhyme of the Rail,” poking fun at early rail travel, was his most famous early work.
In the 1870’s, after a series of tragedies including the deaths of his wife and five of his six children, Saxe became reclusive and his poetry took on a more serious and somber tone. He died on March 31, 1887 while living with his only remaining child in Albany, New York. We shall choose to remember him for his fun retelling of the Indian parable, “The Blind Men and the Elephant”.
Saxe’s works found free HERE.
Recite and/or memorize the poem:
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Analyze “The Blind Men and the Elephant” using:
Extend your Tea Time with:
For a tea time treat make:
Heat oven to 425 º
Combined: 1 cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt
Stir in: 1/3 cup milk, 3 tablespoons melted butter
Mix until dough forms. Turn onto floured surface and knead 10 times. Roll dough out into a 9” x 5” rectangle. Brush with 1 tablespoon melted butter and sprinkle with mixture of 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Tightly roll dough, starting at narrow end. Cut into 4 equal pieces and place face up on a cookie sheet. Pat each piece into a 6” circle. Bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.