This well-known folk poem from the 17th century is a form of trick verse. Included in classic anthologies of children's poetry, the verse appears nonsensical at first sight, but given a break in the middle of each line, begins to make perfect sense.
At the simplest level, it is a lesson on grammar and punctuation. Even the youngest of readers will delight in the overturning of logic that nonsense entails, and the 'trick' with which meaning can be made to return.
But as with most folklore, this poem is not just for children, it is meant for all ages. Adults will marvel at the ways it teases out the paths of meaning. Is the difference between fantasy and reality largely grammatical? Or are these inversions the very essence of poetry - by turns meaningless and profound - which overturn our habitual ways of perception?
In this pioneering visual exploration of I Saw a Peacock, Gond tribal artist Ramsingh Urveti and book designer Jonathan Yamakami add a further layer of imagery and play to the poem's enigmas, reflecting and complicating its meanings in delicious ways.