Sunday, October 3, 2010

A poem by Tagore

I wish to share a short poem by Rabindranath Tagore. It has been stored too long in my memory, and too long in my .doc files...

Sit Smiling (translated from Bengali to english, originally published in Geetanjali-poetry collection)

I boasted among men that I had known you
they see your pictures in all works of mine,
they come and ask me "Who is he?"
I know not how to answer them.
I say, "Indeed I cannot tell."
They blame me and go away in scorn.
- and You sit there smiling.

I put my tales of you into lasting songs.
the secret gushes out from my heart.
they come and ask me, "tell us all your meanings!"
I know not how to answer them.
I say, "Ah! who knows what they mean!"
they smile and go away in utter scorn.
- and You sit there smiling.

In my imagination, the narrator shapes and moulds figures in clay. In all his clay figures, in all his work, people see a glimpse of something. Something bordering on the mystical. Indeed, he cannot tell what it is or what it means. Just my interpretation.

Rabindranath Tagore was born in 1861 in Calcutta (British India), and is remembered for his awe-inspiring poetry and literary masterpieces in the Bengali language. His collection of songs- the Geetanjali, won the Nobel prize for literature in 1913. All his poems are an ode to love, life, joy and sorrow, through their simple words and musical mysticism.

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