Fireflies 4


Poems of Rabindranath Tagore 4

there smiles the Divine Child
among the playthings of unmeaning clouds
and ephemeral lights & shadows

the breeze whispers to the lotus
“what is thy secret?”
“it is myself,” says the lotus
“steal it and I disappear…”

the freedom of the storm
and the bondage of the stem
join hands in the dance
of swaying branches;
jasmine’s lisping of love to the sun
is her flowers

great tyrants claim freedom
to kill freedom
yet keep it for themselves;
gods tired of their paradise
envy the human race

clouds are hills in vapour;
hills are clouds in stone:
fantasy in time’s dream

God waits for his temple
to be built of love—
we bring stones…

I touch God in my song
as the hill touches the far-away sea
with its waterfall;
light finds her treasure of colours
through the antagonism of clouds

my heart today smiles at its past night of tears
like a wet tree glistening in the sun
after the rain is over

Rabindranath Tagore (1928)

3 thoughts on “Fireflies 4

  1. What mornings these days, to wake and find these beautiful songs waiting. I feel at home with these poems, they create such strong musical stories. All things connected!

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    1. Patrick

      I was dipping into Thomas Merton’s Selected Poems and came across this:-

      CALYPSO’S ISLAND

      See with how little motion, now, the noon wind
      Fills the woods’ eyes with flirting oleanders,
      While perpendicular sun lets fall
      Nickels and dimes on the deep harbour.

      Fair cries of divers fly in the air
      Amid the rigging of the newcome schooner,
      And the white ship
      Rides like a petal on the purple water
      And flings her clangorous anchor in the quiet deeps,
      And wrecks the waving waterlights.

      Then Queen Calypso
      Wakes from a dreaming lifetime in her house of wicker,
      Sees all at once the shadows on the matting
      Coming and going like a leopard;
      Hears for the first time the flame-feathered birds
      Shout their litany in the savage tree;

      And slowly tastes the red red wound
      Of the sweet pomegranate,

      And lifts her eyelids like the lids of treasures.

      I thought how similar his imagery & tone was to Rabindranath Tagore!

      Colin

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  2. Such a weaving of image, narrative, allegory, and myth, a vision of expanding tensions in both poets. Both muse and man holding two or more contradictory “I’s, then with hand and eye opening them into blossoms of wonderful rhythms, if that makes sense. Spring blooms over here, across the sea, small green buds peaking out, our own rhythms in motion right below the surface:-) Holding contradictory I’s keeping us alert!

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