Almost a century ago, Songs of Kabir, translated by Rabindranath Tagore was published in English. Rarely heard and yet revealing insights into the vision of poet Kabir, born in 1440, and a “disciple of the celebrated Hindu ascetic Ramananda”. In the introduction, Eveleyn Underhill, who assisted Tagore in the publication, wrote “The poetry of mysticism …
From Mrs. Shalian’s shelf comes another poetry wonder, printed over a hundred years ago and yet whispered as though yesterday. In our search for the future, how can we move forward without knowing the past.
Tagore in The Gardener writes,
“Who are you, reader, reading my poems an hundred years hence?
I cannot send you one single flower from this wealth of the spring, one single streak of gold from yonder clouds. … ”
One of my favorite poetry books is Fireflies by Rabindranath Tagore with decorations by Boris Artzybasheff published in 1928. On the opening page is the signature of BaiDzar Shalian, an old family friend who shared her library of treasures.
Tagore is a Bengali poet and winner of the 1913 Nobel Prize of Literature. His poems are magical. Here are a few favorites:
“Your smile, my love, like the smell of a
is simple and inexplicable.”
Fireflies by Tagore