Sunday, 1 February 2015

TAGORE : THE CRESCENT MOON [CHILD-POEMS]

2015-05 Tagore - The Crescent Moon [Child-Poems]


Rabindranath Tagore [1861-1941]
Rabindranath Tagore (1861– 1941): Author of Gitanjali and its "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse", he became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. In translation his poetry was viewed as spiritual and mercurial; his seemingly mesmeric personality, flowing hair, and other-worldly dress earned him a prophet-like reputation in the West. "His prose was elegant and poetry magical." Gitanjali [1913], Crescent Moon [1913], Post Office [1914], King of the Dark Chamber [1914] are instances in point.


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The Crescent Moon is a collection of 40 child-poems by Rabindranath Tagore. The poems are deceptively simple but are full of profound thoughts for contemplation. We shall study here, just two of these gems: Playthings and the Child-Angel:



Child, how happy you are sitting in the dust, playing with a broken twig all the morning.
I smile at your play with that little bit of a broken twig.

I am busy with my accounts, adding up figures by the hour.
Perhaps you glance at me and think, "What a stupid game to spoil your morning with!"

Child, I have forgotten the art of being absorbed in sticks and mud-pies.
I seek out costly playthings, and gather lumps of gold and silver.

With whatever you find you create your glad games, I spend both my time and my strength over things I never can obtain.

In my frail canoe I struggle to cross the sea of desire, and forget that I too am playing a game.




They clamour and fight, they doubt and despair, they know no end to their wranglings.
   
Let your life come amongst them like a flame of light, my child, unflickering and pure, and delight them into silence.

They are cruel in their greed and their envy, their words are like hidden knives thirsting for blood.

Go and stand amidst their scowling hearts, my child, and let your gentle eyes fall upon them like the forgiving peace of the evening over the strife of the day.

Let them see your face, my child, and thus know the meaning of all things; let them love you and thus love each other.

Come and take your seat in the bosom of the limitless, my child. At sunrise open and raise your heart like a blossoming flower, and at sunset bend your head and in silence complete the worship of the day.

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