The Two Worlds of the Four-Eyed Fish


Anableps from wikipedia

Above I see what’s clear and dry,
The birds that swim the sea blue sky,
The crabs that drift and come to die,
The roots that rise above my eye.
I also know a world that flows—
Where sunlight sways and algae grows
On roots that hide the friends and foes
Who ride the rocking dim below.


The Four-Eyed Fish actually has two eyes but each eye has two parts–the top part is adapted to seeing above the water and the bottom part is adapted to seeing below the water. They swim along the surface looking at both worlds simultaneously.

For more Poetry Friday go to Mainely Write.

(c) 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

13 replies
  1. Katya says:

    I love the rhythm of this poem.

    I’ve never heard of this fish — fascinating. I’ll have to show that to the kids when they get home.

  2. Donna says:

    I love the poem. And I went to your previous post because I saw the cat looking out the window…thought you had taken a picture of our cat looking out the window for a minute there.

  3. Liz Steinglass says:

    Thanks Everyone,
    I have been fascinated by this fish ever since I saw it at the little DC aquarium years ago.
    I’ll have to go back and look for other interesting little creatures to write about.
    Liz

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