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Tagore Translations

Morichika or Mirage by Tagore

Morichika or ‘Mirage’ is one on Tagore’s early poems. It was first published in 1886 in a collection called Kori O Komal (Sharp and Flat).

Mirage
Come, leave your bed of flowers, O friend —
Beat the hard ground with your foot. 
How long will you isolate yourself weaving 
Dreams of starry blooms in an unreal sky!
Look, a storm is brewing in the distance —
Your world will be washed away with tears.
Flames of God’s lightning jinx will ignite the 
Fires of purity to arouse you from stupor. 
Come let us both go and live with people,
Enlightened by their joys and sorrows —
Let us share their laughter and sadness
Holding hands, stay fearless when in doubt. 
Let us not dwell in this redolent mirage as
It terrorises with its transient evanescence. 
Tagore’s translation on ‘Morichika’ in Poems. Source: Bichitra

Later Tagore translated this poem to English himself. That was published in 1942 by a collection entitled Poems edited by Krishna Kripalalni, Amiya Chakravarty, Nirmal Chandra Chattopadhyay and Pulinbehari Sen published after his death by Visva Bharati.

Here is an excerpt of what Tagore wrote about Kori O Komal in his Jibonsmriti (1912, autobiographical memoirs by the poet) which reflects his outlook and the mood of the poem.

Translation: Man falls into a stupor when due to his own reluctance to make an effort, he can neither understand himself nor face reality. I have always struggled to emerge out of this stupor. I cannot reconcile myself to the current situation where nameless intellectuals are inebriated with patriotism and are involved in spineless political rallies and news campaigns which exhibit both the lack of a national identity and concern for mass welfare. (Excerpted from a screenshot of Jibonsmriti sent by Anasuya Bhar)

(These translations for Borderless Journal are by Mitali Chakravarty, edited by Sohana Manzoor and Anasuya Bhar. Also, thanks to Anasuya Bhar for the images from Bichitra and Jibonsmriti and the extensive research on the poem.)

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