I saw a poem on my friend's desktop background on his laptop, and took a screenshot of it because I thought it was cool. In fact, it was a poem.

Does anybody know who wrote it, or where it is from?

Tis true my form is something odd,
But blaming me is blaming God,
Could I create myself anew
I would not fail in pleasing you.
If I could reach from pole to pole
Or grasp the ocean with a span
I would be measured by the soul,
The mind's the standard of the man.

Since the poem begins with 'tis instead of it's, then I guess it was written during (correct me if I am wrong) the 18-19th century. It also appears to be very heartfelt and written by someone who might look a little different, perhaps of a different race? Does anyone recognise this poem? Is it in any way familiar?


1 Answer 1


It's called False Greatness, it's by Joseph Merrick, the elephant man, kind of the definition of someone who looked different, and was written some time in the later half of the 19th century.

However it's commonly attributed to Isaac Watts from the mid 18th century and in fact he did write the last sentence or two in 1743 as part of an entirely different work.


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