A deserted house, its corridors are empty –
Its foundation is a dark burial vault of dead days
Where at noon rises a ghostly sigh
Of dumb memories like muffled cries
In its surrounding grounds
Dry leaves swirl
Whirling wind pants in asthmatic spasms
The spring is about to leave
Now at times without any warning
The summer comes with its barbarous storm.
His creative urge inspires the artist’s brush
But his creation in every line, in fiery purple,
Is fraught with pain
For loss of his friends
Sometimes in unease his brush pauses
Sometimes his fingers lose their temper
When in the next lane under a murky sky
Rings an alarm of disharmony.
In the twilight glow
In an insane mood his mind bursts
Into fireworks as if of a bursting missile.
The artist’s brush faces barriers, tides them over.
Sometimes they are aggressively obscene
Or like a drunkard they lack self-control.
A muddy current flows in their mind
It foams into a flood of incoherence and incongruities.
Against these dark currents
The artist goes on sailing
Loading his boat with all his creations
And touches the shore by chance somewhere.
On either side noisily row symphony and cacophony
In its midst the passing show goes on.
Translation of poem 24 from the collection Janmadine by Rabindranath Tagore. Written at Santiniketan on 25th February, 1939. The original poem is at http://www.rabindra-rachanabali.nltr.org/node/13885