Someone gave me this wild plant.
Its leaves are yellow mixed with green
Its violet flowers are like cups
Very artistically made
As if meant to drink light.
None can tell me its name
Like so many nameless unknown stars
It belongs to that nameless wing
Of this vast sprawling universe
Where live those millions
Who have no names
I have brought it to the privacy of my home
And given it an identity with a name
I call it 'peyali'-
One that resembles a cup.
To my garden
Like honorable guests
All have come on invitation -
Dahlia, fuchsia and marigold
But uninvited and neglected
Peyali is unmarked
Like a baul
Totally unattached and free
It has no caste
It does not belong to any tribe.
In the twinkling of an eye
Its flower blossomed and dropped
The sound it made
Could not be heard
Its horoscope counts the span of its life
In millionth parts of a minute
The honey in its heart
Is not even a drop
The duration of its journey
Is limited to a few passing moments
As that flower of flame, the sun,
Takes ages to fully bloom.
The story of its life
The creator writes
With a small pen
In the corner of a leaf.
Yet it discloses a story so vast
One cannot view
More than a page at a glance
Century's unbroken stream
Flows in waves
Dancing in a slow rhythm
So many mountain ranges rose and fell
So many seas and deserts
Dressed and undressed the earth
In time's long flow
Among creation's upheavals
This flower is life's primeval resolve to grow.
Through millions of years of blossoming and shedding
This flower has kept that resolve alive and moving
Its finished picture we are yet to see.
In whose dream timelessly exists
This formless resolve
That picture without any lines!
I am also not outside his imagination
Invisible and endless
Nor the whole history of the human race -
Its past, present and future
All in his scheme have found a place.
Translation of poem 8 from the collection Patraput by Rabindranath Tagore. The original poem in Bengali script may be viewed at