God alone did not create you, my girl –
You are also the creation of men
From the core of their heart
They have endowed you with charm.
With golden threads of similes
Your dress the poet weaves.
To immortalize your image
The painter puts on your face
An ever fresh glow.
So many colors, scents and costumes –
From the seas come pearls
From the mines comes gold
Heaps of flowers come
From the garden in spring
Insects sacrifice their lives
To color your feet.
With your coyness, your dresses
And with all those trimmings
You keep yourself beyond easy reach
And a burning longing you always ignite –
Your one half is made of flesh and blood
Your other half is the fantasy of our mind.
Translation of the sonnet – Manasi – from the collection Chaitali (The Summer Harvest) by Rabindranath Tagore. Compare poem LIX of The Gardener.
The original in Bengali script may be viewed at