Wednesday, April 28, 2004

I really only know of Rabindranath Tagore through his collaboration with Satyajit Ray on some of the most heartbreakingly beautiful films I've ever seen. I did not realize that he was, in addition to being one of the founders of a modern, independent India, a Nobel Laureate.

These two excerpts from his collection Gitanjali bring to mind the Song of Solomon or works I've read by Rumi. I find this simple and pure expression of love for one's Father-Mother-Creator-Lord to be so comforting.

"Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure. This
frail vessel thou emptiest again and again, and fillest it ever with
fresh life.
This little flute of a reed thou hast carried over hills and dales, and
hast breathed through it melodies eternally new.
At the immortal touch of thy hands my little heart loses its limits in
joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable.
Thy infinite gifts come to me only on these very small hands of mine.
Ages pass, and still thou pourest, and still there is room to fill."

"When thou commandest me to sing, it seems that my heart would break
with pride; and I look to thy face, and tears come to my eyes.
All that is harsh and dissonant in my life melts into one sweet
harmony- and my adoration spreads wings like a glad bird on its flight
across the sea.
I know thou takest pleasure in my singing. I know that only as a singer
I come before thy presence.
I touch by the edge of the far-spreading wing of my song thy feet which
I could never aspire to reach.
Drunk with joy of singing I forget myself and call thee friend who art
my Lord."

Take a look here for more of Tagore's poetry.

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