Blind Men and the Elephant

mrabe at mrabe at
Tue Nov 21 13:01:20 UTC 1995

Can anyone identify the presumptive source in niti or katha literature for
John Godfrey Saxe's poem "The Blind Men and the Elephant," first published
in his _Clever Stories of Many Nations_ (Boston, 1865), 61-64?

I had suspected that he invented the premise himself, but recently came
across an early 19th c. painting on the subject from China. Might it then
have an East Asian origin?

Any leads or suppositions will be much appreciated.

Michael Rabe
Saint Xavier Univerity
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago


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