Theme: Bonding

The Year 1400

Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel Prize for Literature in the year 1913. The year 2013, beginning tomorrow, marks exactly one hundred years since he was awarded the prize. I am not a Tagore specialist at Boloji and Mr. Kumud Biswas will know about all this far better than I do. However, I recalled today an oft-quoted poem by him, called The Year 1400. Tagore was referring to the Bengali calendar of course and according to that calendar we have reached the last quarter or so of the year 1419 now. I have tried to transliterate his poem below and it will be apparent that it was written exactly one hundred years before the Bengali year 1400, which would be 119 years ago from the Western calendar year 2013. I am sure that I am not the first person to have tried to carry out this difficult job and other translations by more competent people should be available. However, I felt that I wished to celebrate his winning the Nobel Prize by trying out the exercise.

A hundred years on from this day
Who are you that reads my poem
With such curiosity pray --
A hundred years on from this day.
The joy of this fresh spring morn
Even a slightest part of this fare
Not a single blossom from this day, nor the song of any bird,
Nor indeed a blush so rare
Soaked in affection can I send
Down your distant way
A hundred years on from this day.

Yet on your balcony sit for a while
Unbolting your south facing door
Peer into the horizon distant, in imagination drowned content
Let your mind explore --
On a day a hundred years past
A restless thrill had floated down -- from a heaven quite unknown
To the heart of the universe binding itself fast --
A youthful Falgun day unfettered
Impatient with frenzies --
Restively gliding on its pollen perfumed wings
Above the southern breeze --
Abruptly came and dyed in haste the earth
In colours full of youth to last
A hundred years away from you that was in the past.
His anxious heart in songs immersed
A sleepless poet spent nights so vast
To make his many thoughts flower-like bloom
With love remaining unsurpassed
On a day a hundred years past.
A hundred years on from today
Which new poet sings
In your abode tell me pray?
The joyous greetings from today’s spring
I send along his way.
Let my spring song on your spring filled day
Be permitted a moment’s soiree  
Send quivers down your heart -- making bees hum and dart
As the leaves murmur away
A hundred years on from this day.


More By  :  Dipankar Dasgupta

Views: 1364     Comments: 8

Comments on this Poem

Comment 12 poush 1400 b.s in convert english date & year

santu patra
21-Aug-2015 11:29 AM

Comment Dear Dipankar, I know what prompts you to translate Tagore - it is not for fame or fortune but for sheer love - tasting Tagore in a different way. By the way, recently I had an encounter with Ketaki over translation of Tagore - I shall relate it on boloji shortly because it is very interesting and hope you will enjoy it.

03-Jan-2013 18:26 PM

Comment @ kumud babu

I wasn't aware of your translation, though I had no doubt that many must have tried their hands. My opening paragraph, before the poem says so. I wanted to translate it on the last day of 2012, since this was my way of ushering in 2013, the century year for Tagore's Nobel Prize. I noticed Ketaki Kushari Dyson's translation but decided not to read it before I was done with my first draft. As always, I will be revising my translation many times yet. I don't see why I am late in translating it as you say. I was not running a race. Shakespeare's Hamlet has been played by thousands of people. Same here. I write only for the pleasure of writing as you know. I am hardly ever read. But it has stopped bothering me. Writing itself is fun. Thanks for the comment. .

03-Jan-2013 09:17 AM

Comment One of the most loved poems of Tagore. It has been translated by many. As a Tagore fanatic you are a bit late in translating this poem, dear Dipankar. I translated it long ago but I am afraid it is not half as good as the original. But the readers who do not know Bengali will have to remain satisfied with our modest efforts.

03-Jan-2013 08:09 AM

Comment @ devadatta

Thanks for reading. I will probably need to revise the present one after letting it lie fallow for a while. But I will certainly try my hand at ???? ???????? ??? ??? ?? ??????? ...

03-Jan-2013 03:22 AM

Comment I'd like to have a translation from you of ???? ???????? ??? ??? ?? ??????? / ???? ????????? ????...


Devadatta Joardar
01-Jan-2013 07:31 AM

Comment Thank you Sudipta. Let me try out your suggestion. :)

01-Jan-2013 05:19 AM

Comment Dipankar da,
Excellent translation.
Why not write a new poem titled, "Aji hote shato barsho pore" today? With the internet and the idea of storing idea "up in the cloud" today, I am sure a million people will discuss that poem 100 years from today.
Amrao hoyto kono bhabe dekhte pabo ki hochchhe takhon..!!! After all bhoot-er bhabishyat to sotyi-i ujjwal ekhane ekhon..!!! Unfortunately, ar karo bhabishyat niye otota confident hote parchhi na.

Sudipta Sengupta
01-Jan-2013 04:13 AM

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