Guest poem sent in by Firdaus Janoos
(Poem #1772) Gitanjali (excerpt)
The song that I came to sing remains unsung to this day. I have spent my days in stringing and unstringing my instrument. The time has not come true, the words have not been rightly set; only there is the agony of wishing in my heart. The blossom has not opened; only the wind is sighing by. I have not seen his face, nor have I listened to his voice; only I have heard his gentle footsteps on the road before my house. The livelong day has passed in spreading his seat on the floor; but the lamp has not been lit and I cannot ask him into my house. I live in the hope of meeting with him; but this meeting is not yet.
from the Gitanjali (1923) Cloying is not the first epithet that springs to mind when reading Tagore. Re-reading the Gitanjali (song offerings), one begins to realize an intriguing profundity underlying its apparent simplicity. It is not without good reason that this work won the 1923 Nobel prize for literature. This poem is just an example of the textured, layered quality that permeates the Gitanjali. At first it seems like the pensive song sung by a lover cleaving for her beloved. But one becomes aware of an ineffable mysticism to it - a yearning for a re-uniting with God, but without the morbidity that is the usual adjunct of fatalism. -firdaus