2011 is the 150th anniversary of the birth of a wonderful poet: Rabindranath Tagore.
We had one of his poems last night as our reading after our meditation and we would like to share it now, along with two others, to show the range of his work. Many thanks to Peter Hodgman for the suggestion to share these poems in honour of the anniversary, but also simply because they are so powerful.
When the creation was new and all the stars shone in their first
splendor, the gods held their assembly in the sky and sang:
`Oh, the picture of perfection! the joy unalloyed!'
But one cried of a sudden:
`It seems that somewhere there is a break in the chain of light
and one of the stars has been lost.'
The golden string of their harp snapped,
their song stopped, and they cried in dismay:
`Yes, that lost star was the best,
she was the glory of all heavens!'
From that day the search is unceasing for her,
and the cry goes on from one to the other
that in her the world has lost its one joy!
Only in the deepest silence of night the stars smile
and whisper among themselves:
`Vain is this seeking! unbroken perfection is over all!'
If thou speakest not
If thou speakest not I will fill my heart with thy silence and
endure it. I will keep still and wait like the night with starry
vigil and its head bent low with patience.
The Morning will surely come, the darkness will vanish,
and thy voice pour down in golden streams breaking through
Then thy words will take wing in songs from every one of
my birds’ nests, and thy melodies will break forth in flowers
in all my forest groves.
Stream of Life
The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day
runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.
It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth
in numberless blades of grass
and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.
It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth
and of death, in ebb and in flow.
I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life.
And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.
The second two are taken from Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore, translated from the original Bengali by the author. Lost Star was found on the internet, I'm not sure who the translator was.