Author Topic: Poems of Rabindranath Tagore  (Read 4942 times)


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Poems of Rabindranath Tagore
« on: May 13, 2010, 05:19:03 PM »
When the heart is hard
When the heart is hard and parched up,
Come upon me with a shower of mercy.

When grace is lost from life,
Come with a burst of song.

When tumultuous work raises its din on all sides shutting me out from Beyond,
Come to me, my Lord of silence, with Thy peace and rest.

When my beggarly heart sits crouched, shut up in a corner,
Break open the door, my King, and come with the ceremony of a King.

When desire blinds the mind with delusion and dust, O Thou holy one, Thou wakeful,
Come with Thy light and Thy thunder

Brink of Eternity
In desperate hope I go and search for her
in all the corners of my room;
I find her not.

My house is small
and what once has gone from it can never be regained.

But infinite is Thy mansion, my Lord,
and seeking her I have to come to Thy door.

I stand under the golden canopy of Thine evening sky
and I lift my eager eyes to Thy face.

I have come to the brink of eternity from which nothing can vanish
-- no hope, no happiness, no vision of a face seen through tears.

Oh, dip my emptied life into that ocean,
plunge it into the deepest fullness.
Let me for once feel that lost sweet touch
in the Allness of the universe.

I shall weave a chain of pearls
Mother, I shall weave a chain of pearls for Thy neck
with my tears of sorrow.

The stars have wrought their anklets of light to deck Thy feet,
but mine will hang upon Thy breast.

Wealth and fame come from Thee
and it is for Thee to give or to withhold them.
But this my sorrow is absolutely mine own,
and when I bring it to Thee as my offering
Thou rewardest me with Thy grace.

Closed Path
I thought that my voyage had come to its end
at the last limit of my power,-- that the path before me was closed,
that provisions were exhausted
and the time come to take shelter in a silent obscurity.

But I find that Thy will knows no end in me.
And when old words die out on the tongue,
new melodies break forth from the heart;
and where the old tracks are lost,
new country is revealed with its wonders.

Clouds and Waves
Mother, the folk who live up in the clouds call out to me -
"We play from the time we wake till the day ends.
We play with the golden dawn, we play with the silver moon."
I ask, "But how am I to get up to you ?"
They answer, "Come to the edge of the earth, lift up your
hands to the sky, and you will be taken up into the clouds."
"My mother is waiting for me at home, "I say, "How can I leave
her and come?"
Then they smile and float away.

But I know a nicer game than that, mother.
I shall be the cloud and you the moon.
I shall cover you with both my hands, and our house-top will
be the blue sky.

The folk who live in the waves call out to me -
"We sing from morning till night; on and on we travel and know
not where we pass."
I ask, "But how am I to join you?"
They tell me, "Come to the edge of the shore and stand with
your eyes tight shut, and you will be carried out upon the waves."
I say, "My mother always wants me at home in the everything -
how can I leave her and go?"
They smile, dance and pass by.

But I know a better game than that.
I will be the waves and you will be a strange shore.
I shall roll on and on and on, and break upon your lap with
And no one in the world will know where we both are.

Then I understand
When I bring to you colored toys, my child,
I understand why there is such a play of colors on clouds, on water,
and why flowers are painted in tints
-- when I give colored toys to you, my child.

When I sing to make you dance
I truly know why there is music in leaves,
and why waves send their chorus of voices to the heart of the listening earth
-- when I sing to make you dance.

When I bring sweet things to your greedy hands
I know why there is honey in the cup of the flowers
and why fruits are secretly filled with sweet juice
-- when I bring sweet things to your greedy hands.

When I kiss your face to make you smile, my darling,
I surely understand what pleasure streams from the sky in morning light,
and what delight that is that is which the summer breeze brings to my body
-- when I kiss you to make you smile.

Face to Face
Day after day, O Lord of my life,
shall I stand before Thee face to face.
With folded hands, O Lord of all worlds,
shall I stand before Thee face to face.

Under thy great sky in solitude and silence,
with humble heart shall I stand before Thee face to face.

In this laborious world of thine, tumultuous with toil
and with struggle, among hurrying crowds
shall I stand before Thee face to face.

And when my work shall be done in this world,
O King of kings, alone and speechless
shall I stand before Thee face to face.

Give me the strength
This is my prayer to Thee, my Lord -- strike,
strike at the root of penury in my heart.

Give me the strength lightly to bear my joys and sorrows.

Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in service.

Give me the strength never to disown the poor or bend my knees before insolent might.

Give me the strength to raise my mind high above daily trifles.

And give me the strength to surrender my strength to Thy will with love.

I wonder if I know Him
In whose speech is my voice,
In whose movement is my being,
Whose skill is in my lines,
Whose melody is in my songs

In joy and sorrow.
I thought He was chained within me,
Contained by tears and laughter,
Work and play.

I thought He was my very self
Coming to an end with my death.
Why then in a flood of joy do I feel Him
In the sight and touch of my beloved?

This 'I' beyond self I found
On the shores of the shining sea.
Therefore I know
This 'I' is not imprisoned within my bounds.

Losing myself, I find Him
Beyond the borders of time and space.

Through the Ages
I come to know his Shining Self
In the life of the seeker,
In the voice of the poet.

From the dark clouds pour the rains.
I sit and think:
Bearing so many forms, so many names,
I come down, crossing the threshold
Of countless births and deaths.
The Supreme undivided, complete in Himself,
Embracing past and present,
Dwells in Man.

Within Him I shall find myself -
The 'I' that reaches everywhere.

I am Restless
I am restless. I am athirst for far-away things.
My soul goes out in a longing to touch the skirt of the dim distance.
O Great Beyond, O the keen call of thy flute!
I forget, I ever forget, that I have no wings to fly, that I am bound in this spot evermore.

I am eager and wakeful, I am a stranger in a strange land.
Thy breath comes to me whispering an impossible hope.
Thy tongue is known to my heart as its very own.
O Far-to-seek, O the keen call of thy flute!
I forget, I ever forget, that I know not the way, that I have not the winged horse.

I am listless, I am a wanderer in my heart.
In the sunny haze of the languid hours, what vast vision of thine takes shape in the blue of the sky!
O Farthest end, O the keen call of thy flute!
I forget, I ever forget, that the gates are shut everywhere in the house where I dwell alone!

Innermost One
He it is, the innermost one,
who awakens my being with his deep hidden touches.

He it is who puts his enchantment upon these eyes
and joyfully plays on the chords of my heart
in varied cadence of pleasure and pain.

He it is who weaves the web of this maya
in evanescent hues of gold and silver, blue and green,
and lets peep out through the folds his feet,
at whose touch I forget myself.

Days come and ages pass,
and it is ever he who moves my heart in many a name,
in many a guise, in many a rapture of joy and of sorrow.

Keep me fully glad with nothing
Keep me fully glad with nothing.
Only take my hand in Your hand.
In the gloom of the deepening night take up my heart and play with it as You wish.
Bind me close to You with nothing.

I will spread myself out at Your feet and lie still.
Under this clouded sky I will meet silence with silence.
I will become one with the night clasping the earth in my breast.
Make my life glad with nothing.

The rains sweep the sky from end to end.
Jasmines in the wet untamable wind revel in their own perfume.
The cloud-hidden stars thrill in secret.
Let me fill to the full my heart with nothing but my own depth of joy.

Light, my light, the world-filling light,
the eye-kissing light,
heart-sweetening light!

Ah, the light dances, my darling, at the center of my life;
the light strikes, my darling, the chords of my love;
the sky opens, the wind runs wild, laughter passes over the earth.

The butterflies spread their sails on the sea of light.
Lilies and jasmines surge up on the crest of the waves of light.

The light is shattered into gold on every cloud, my darling,
and it scatters gems in profusion.

Mirth spreads from leaf to leaf, my darling,
and gladness without measure.
The heaven's river has drowned its banks
and the flood of joy is abroad.

Lost Time
On many an idle day have I grieved over lost time.
But it is never lost, my Lord.
Thou hast taken every moment of my life in thine own hands.

Hidden in the heart of things thou art nourishing seeds into sprouts,
buds into blossoms, and ripening flowers into fruitfulness.

I was tired and sleeping on my idle bed
and imagined all work had ceased.
In the morning I woke up
and found my garden full with wonders of flowers.

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Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...


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Re: Poems of Rabindranath Tagore
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2010, 07:09:04 PM »

Dear silentgreen,

Excellent collection. Regarding R. Tagore, I have read only
Gitanjali.  The play Sannyasi by Tagore was quite boring.

Arunachala Siva.


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Re: Poems of Rabindranath Tagore
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2010, 06:12:59 PM »
To appreciate the poems of Rabindranath Tagore requires a very romantic mind, where one senses the eternal in simple things of life.
Here is a poem which illustrates this:

The Moon:
I only said, "When in the evening the round full moon gets
entangled among the beaches of that Dadam tree, couldn't somebody
catch it?"
But dada laughed at me and said, "Baby, you are the silliest
child I have ever known. The moon is ever so far from us, how could
anybody catch it?"
I said, "Dada, how foolish you are! When mother looks out of
her window and smiles down at us playing, would you call her far
Still dada said, "You are a stupid child! But, baby where
could you find a net big enough to catch the moon with?"
I said, "Surely you could catch it with your hands."
But dada laughed and said, "You are the silliest child I have
known. If it came nearer, you would see how big the moon is."
I said, "Dada, what nonsense they teach at your school! When
mother bends her face down to kiss us, does her face look very
But still dada says, "You are a stupid child."
Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...