National Poetry Month: The Man of Double Deed & There Was a Man a Man Indeed  

The Man of Double Deed  

Thought to be the oldest poem ever written, “The Man of Double Deed” has many versions. One included in poetry.com includes a lion and an eagle. The one sung by children in Northern Ireland is shorter, leaving those two creatures out while changing the title.   

In any case, the original poet is unknown, and can be added to or limited by the person speaking. This seems an excellent first poem to begin our observance of National Poetry Month.  

The Man of Double Deed  

from Poetry.com  

There was a man of double deed, 

Who sowed his garden full of seed; 

When the seed began to grow, 

‘Twas like a garden full of snow; 

When the snow began to melt, 

‘Twas like a ship without a belt; 

When the ship began to sail, 

‘Twas like a bird without a tail; 

When the bird began to fly, 

‘Twas like an eagle in the sky; 

When the sky began to roar, 

‘Twas like a lion at my door; 

When my door began to crack, 

‘Twas like a stick across my back; 

When my back began to smart, 

‘Twas like a penknife in my heart; 

And when my heart began to bleed, 

‘Twas death, and death, and death indeed.  

There Was a Man a Man Indeed  

from Mama Lisa’s World  

There was a man, a man indeed
Who sowed his garden full of seed.
When the seed began to grow,
`Twas like a garden full of snow.
When the snow began to fall,
Like birds it was upon the wall
When the birds began to fly,
`Twas like a shipwreck in the sky
When the sky began to crack,
`Twas like a stick upon my back
When my back began to smart,
`Twas like a penknife in my heart
When my heart began to bleed,
Then I was dead and dead indeed.