When the god of death gave the order to destroy
Men took up the task to destroy themselves
I thought in great pain
Straying from its usual axis
In a great blaze
Why this planet doesn’t die
Killing us all at a time?
Then it struck me
If sin doesn’t gradually wane
Through sorrow and suffering
Its seed will remain hidden
Below the ashes of the killing fields
And at the time of a new beginning
It will sprout again like weed.
Translation of poem 38 from the collection Rogshajyay (In Sick Bed) by Rabindranath Tagore. Written at Udayan, Santiniketan in the morning on 5th December, 1940. The theme is obviously the Second World War. The original poem is at http://www.rabindra-rachanabali.nltr.org/node/12978