Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursdays With Tagore - March 25

Every Thursday, I shall read one of Tagore's poems as translated in this book or some other poem I can find. I shall post some lines from the poem and perhaps a detail of how I liked this poem or not. Any others who want to join in this meme are absolutely welcome to do so! 

This is a poem that goes much on the lines of Shakespeare's 'All the world's a stage. And all the men and women merely players', though I personally think Tagore's take on this is more impressive. I love the exquisite use of words to create this atmosphere of an epic feeling.

In creation's vast field
the play of fireworks in the skies
with suns and stars
is on a cosmic scale.
I too came from the invisible without beginning
with a minute fire-particle to a tiny spot
of space and time
Now as I enter the last act, the lamp's flame
flickers, the shadows reveal
the illusory nature of this play.
Joys and sorrows, dramatic disguises,
slowly become slack.
Hundreds of actors and actresses through the ages
have left their many-coloured costumes outside the door
of the theatre. I look and see
in the greenroom of hundreds of extinguished stars 
the king of the theatre standing still, alone.

The final few lines are especially brilliant. They made me pause and understand the magnificent imagination Tagore has, to interpret something as commonplace as life, death and God.  The more I re-read this poem, the more I love it! :)


Vaishnavi said...

Oh I love it! I definitely MUST read Tagore! Where exactly do you get these poems from? Do you have a translated store bought copy or is it from the internet?

Shweta said...

Really beautiful. I am not much into poetry but I did love this one.

I remember I had written a paper on Tagore in high school for which I had quoted so many of his poems and writing's. I seem to have forgotten to appreciate poetry :)Need to pick up a book on poetry soon.

Anonymous said...

This is so beautiful. I definitely must read some Tagore. I don't read much poetry, but when I come across good poems, I always feel that I have been missing something.

Kals said...

Vaishnavi - The link to the book from where I get these poems is in the post :) Here you go again!

Swetha - I read only selected poets and Tagore is my favourite. He's one of those poets everyone must read at least once in their lifetime. It's a wonderful experience :)

Chasingbawa- I know the feeling! :) Tagore is an amazing poet...a genius with words. I certainly recommend you read his poems :) Sarojini Naidu is another great Indian poet.

Alyce said...

This poem is fabulous! I'm one of those closet poetry haters. Ok, maybe hate is too strong a word, I mean I like Emily Dickinson, and have read a poem or two by Tennyson, but really poetry just makes my eyes glaze over.

This poem was beautiful, held my attention and made me want to read it again. I haven't heard of this poet before, but I'll be back to read more of your Thursday posts for sure.

Kals said...

Alyce - I'm so very glad you liked the poem. It's one of the things I love about blogging...people get to discover such lovely books/poems that they wouldn't have otherwise :)

Do keep coming back for more of Tagore. Rabindranath Tagore was the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature and one of India's greatest poets. He was a multi-faceted genius and has left a wonderful legacy.

Veens said...


Kim said...

Do you like to write poetry? It's been a bit since I have done so, but might try it again.

Kals said...

Veens - Indeed!

Kim - LOL. No. I doubt I'll make a good poet! I love reading poetry :)


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