Tagore’s “The New Year” (Poem of the Day)

(By Rabindranath Tagore)

The New Year

LIKE FRUIT, shaken free by an impatient wind

from the veils of its mother flower,

thou comest, New Year, whirling in a frantic dance

amid the stampede of the wind-lashed clouds

and infuriate showers,

while trampled by thy turbulence

are scattered away the faded and the frail

in an eddying agony of death.

Thou art no dreamer afloat on a languorous breeze,

lingering among the hesitant whisper and hum

of an uncertain season.

Thine is a majestic march, o terrible Stranger,

thundering forth an ominous incantation,

driving the days on to the perils of a pathless dark,

where thou carriest a dumb signal in thy banner,

a decree of destiny undeciphered.

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h/t The Complete Works of Rabindranath Tagore

Tagore (d. 1941) was a Bengali poet, dramatist, novelist, social reformer and theorist of peace

Tagore (d. 1941) was a Bengali poet, dramatist, novelist, social reformer and theorist of peace. He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913.

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4 Responses

  1. Thanks, I love Tagore. Who is the translator here, Tagore himself ?

    Here is an extract from a very famous poem (Translated by Fakrul Islam, Islam/Chakravarty, “The Essential Tagore”,Bellknap Press, ISBN: 978-0-674-05790-6)

    “If there is no one to light your path, O unfortunate one,
    If on a day of storms and showers doors are bolted on you
    Then in the very flashes of lightning
    Kindle your ribcage and blaze your own way.”

    (This is quite laboured, it is incomparably better in Bengali …)

    P.S. May we expect more of your translation of the Rubaiyat soon ?

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