Saturday, 2 March 2013

I Dreamt (Rabindranath Tagore)

I Dreamt 
by Rabindranath Tagore

'Restful', by Pino Daeni

I dreamt that she sat by my head, tenderly ruffling my hair with
her fingers, playing the melody of her touch. I looked at her face
and struggled with my tears, till the agony of unspoken words burst
my sleep like a bubble.

I sat up and saw the glow of the Milky Way above my window,
like a world of silence on fire, and I wondered if at this moment
she had a dream that rhymed with mine.

Friday, 1 March 2013

I Asked Nothing (Rabindranath Tagore)

The Gardener XIII: I Asked Nothing
by Rabindranath Tagore

'Woman with a Pot' by Shashikanta Parida

I asked nothing, only stood at the edge of the wood behind the tree.
Languor was still upon the eyes of the dawn, and the dew in the air.
The lazy smell of the damp grass hung in the thin mist above the earth.
Under the banyan tree you were milking the cow with your hands,
tender and fresh as butter.

And I was standing still.
I did not say a word.

It was the bird that sang unseen from the thicket.
The mango tree was shedding its flowers upon the village road,
and the bees came humming one by one.

On the side of the pond the gate of Shiva's temple was opened and the
worshipper had begun his chants.
With the vessel on your lap you were milking the cow.

I stood with my empty can.
I did not come near you.

The sky woke with the sound of the gong at the temple.
The dust was raised in the road from the hoofs of the driven cattle.
With the gurgling pitchers at their hips, women came from the river.
Your bracelets were jingling, and foam brimming over the jar.

The morning wore on and I did not come near you.

Lotus (Rabindranath Tagore)

Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913, a century ago. This is one of his poems, a favourite of mine:   


Pic from marrymeweddings
On the day when the lotus bloomed, alas, my mind was straying, and I knew it not. My basket was empty and the flower remained unheeded.

Only now and again a sadness fell upon me, and I started up from my dream and felt a sweet trace of a strange fragrance in the south wind.

That vague sweetness made my heart ache with longing
and it seemed to me that it was the eager breath of the summer seeking for its completion.

I knew not then that it was so near, that it was mine, and that this perfect sweetness had blossomed in the depth of my own heart.