Theme: Death

Death's Shadow

Death merely portends its shadow –
Heavenly nectar of life it can’t swallow
Yet unto the grip of matter insensate –
This conviction is beyond debate.

Love’s treasure in Universe immense
Will forfeit it in totality thence,
Such a pirate omnipotent,
In Creation’s nook and corner is non-existent.

The utmost truth I perceive,
Latent therein the utmost falsity to deceive;
For Existence, this extreme ignominy
I’m sure, tunes not with Creator’s harmony.

For change, everything rushes hence,
And that is Time’s essence;
So Death’s appearance all else will outlast
Surely, in this Universe be a falsity must.

The perception that realized Creation as true,
I, its spawn, witness it too;
My primordial self-sanctioned it so,
Which I ratify as its part though.

Original in Bengali Poem No.2 by Rabindranath Tagore of the book ‘Seshlekha’ (=Last writings) written on 7 may, 1940, a year before the death of the Poet at the age of 80.

Translator’s note:
Tagore’s philosophy of Death abounds his literature. Here he rejects the doctrine of Maya propounded by the Indian and other philosophies, dismissing Creation’s marvels in the form of life, beauty etc. as mere illusion.


More By  :  Rajat Das Gupta

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