Translation from Bengali works of Rabindranath Tagore, Nobel Laureate of 1913.
See translator’s nite at the end of the poem.
My little kid, responding to her pals,
Was stepping down the stairs, with pause
In the dark, draping the lamp,
Cautious in her moves, her feet would stamp.
I was in the roof, the summer sky replete with many a star,
Startled by the sobs of my daughter, rushed there.
While climbing down the stair,
Her lamp was put off by the air.
“What happened Bami”? I ask her,
She sobbed, “I’m lost here!”
Back to the roof, countless stars high,
I observed, looking up the sky
Some lass akin to my Bami,
It seemed to me –
Draping with her blue scarf, moan –
Guards her lamp, paces alone;
If the light would be off,
Abrupt she would stop –
Her cry would fill the sky,
“Lost am I!”
Poem: Hariye Jaoa (=Getting Lost) - written around 1915
Tagore was afflicted by severest tragedies, including the death of his children and other near and dear ones, very often throughout his life. With amazing calmness he faced all these. More amazing, his personal grief never found an outlet in his vast literature, leaving aside those for personal diaries, letters etc. which happened to be published. In his poem ‘Biswashok’ (=Universal Grief) we get a glimpse of his saint like perception of the universal grief which enabled him to regard his personal losses as trivial. A poet is the voice of all mankind. He is not to mourn his own losses like a miser. The Poet asks his pen to save him from such degradation in the days of his sorrow so that he remains true to a poet’s mission. This poem, though apparently a mourning for his own daughter, superbly depicts the universal grief of all parents who have lost their children.