Theme: Love


O Padma, my love,
We have met so often!
One day on your lonely bank
At an auspicious twilight hour of autumn
I gave you my heart
It was witnessed by the setting sun.
In that fading afternoon light
You stood like a shy maid
You were so calm, words you had none.
Smiling like a friend the evening star
Was looking at your face.
Since that day Padma, my love,
We have met so often!
To me for various needs come various men  
But none of them knows
What bond of love has bound our hearts
They don’t know
In evening hours, to your sandy banks
Why do I come for this rendezvous.
When your noisy swans
Silently sleep in your silent lagoons
When the huts on your eastern bank
One by one shut their doors
None knows then
What tune you hum or what song I sing.
All year round

In autumn, summer, winter and in rainy season
Only two of us have met so often!
Sitting on your banks
So many times I have thought –
If I am born again in some far away land
And sailing on a boat along your wild currents
If I come to this place once more
Passing these villages, their meadows and trees
These sandy beaches, the crumbling banks
Won’t they rekindle in my mind past memories
Lying deeply dormant in my consciousness?
Coming to your lonely banks
Will my heart again overflow
As it did overflow in an earlier life?
In evening hours
Will we meet again on your lonely shores?  
Translation of the poem Padma from the collection Chaitali (The Summer Harvest) by Rabindranath Tagore. The original poem is at


More By  :  Kumud Biswas

Views: 1353     Comments: 2

Comments on this Poem

Comment Thank you, dear rdashby, for your appreciative comments. I would request you to read also Tagore's poem Kopai, another minor rivulet near Santiniketan, posted in boloji in my translation. You will meet the Padma again there. You may also peruse my blog Zamindar Rabindranath 9 where I have talked about Tagore's love for this river.

23-Oct-2011 22:41 PM

Comment Beautiful as this evocation of a river's identity in a poem is, I would say in Tagore's case, masterly, the fixing of identity in what is by nature impermanent is surreal. And we can discern the surreality, further, in the very personalising of the Padma that is the basis of the poem.

The phenomenon of identity occurs because the perceived rate of change of natural features of, in this instance, a river - or used to be, since these days they are easily transformed - is negligible. Padma to Tagore is as eternal as God; and that exemplifies the fault, the fatal flaw even, that denies God the exclusivity we all are prone to, and detracts from the transcendent concept of an eternal God most worthy of worship at all times and in all places in the mere form of passage of any thing endowed with identity.

23-Oct-2011 20:08 PM

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