Rabindranath Tagore: A Poem
You prepared your verses over
the death of dear ones.
Among the deaths was a single death
marked by the suicide of a love
you could not name or hold to your breast.
You grayed among all those deaths
like a flowing beard of one who
meditated under the lamp’s shadow.
You found mirrors of your desire
among bees and blossoms
while the day emptied all its tunes.
You held all the seasons in your body
like a restless bird. You crossed
the seas with aging wings, to meet
your distant lover in Argentina.
Someone whom your verses
kept awake for years waited for the hands
of your poems to touch her eyes.
You hid her in the leaves of a song
but she memorized your caresses in a diary.
They left behind an inconsolable
shade where you dwelt like a lone pillar.
Suddenly one day maligners at home
woke up biting their tongues as white men
lauded milder fruits of your craft.
You returned to your people the way
a neglected lover returns
with a loneliness stranger than words.
Featured image 'Tagore and Victoria Ocampo in Paris, 1930'
Image Courtesy articulosparapensar.wordpress.com
Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee is a poet and a faculty member at School of Culture and Creative Expressions, Ambedkar University, New Delhi. His poems have appeared in The London Magazine, New Welsh Review, Rattle and other journals. Ghalib’s Tomb and Other Poems (2013), published by The London Magazine, is a poetry collection to his credit.
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