Categories
Tagore Translations

Poetry on Rain by Rabindranath

Tagore’s Nobobarsha (or ‘New Showers’) celebrates the onset of rains. The poem was written in 1900 and brought out that year itself as part of Kshanika (Momentary).  It can also be found in Sanchayita (An Anthology of Selected Works), his poetry collection brought out by Visva Bharati, in 1931.

Clouds . Art by Sohana Manzoor
New Rains

My heart dances today — dances like a peacock.
Like the shimmer of its plumes,
My heart glistens with rapturous colours.
When I see the sky, my longing loses itself in euphoria.
My heart dances today — dances like a peacock.

The clouds rumble, rumble high up in the heavens.
The rain rushes in.
The new stalks of rice quiver.
Doves shiver silently in their nests, frogs croak in flooded fields,
The clouds rumble, rumble in the heavens.

I see the clouds’ tear-filled eyes lined, lined with blue kohl.
Ecstasy innervates
The grass and deep shady woods.
The floral bowers bloom with a new zest.
I see the clouds’ tear-filled eyes are lined with blue kohl.

Oh, who has untied her hair in gay abandon, in abandon on the palace's roof?
Who has covered her bosom
In blue, who has come
Back to play with slivers of lightning?
Oh, who has untied her hair in abandon on the palace's roof?

Oh, by the riverbank lined with grass, who sits in dark raiment dripping purity?
The young malati flowers wonder distractedly
As they gaze at the distant skies, where
Does the vessel float as it leaves the ghats?
Oh, by the riverbank lined with grass, who sits in dark raiment?

Oh, who swings today on the lonely swaying bakul branch, swings and sways?
The bakul flutters and falls.
An aanchal* soars to the the sky with yearning,
A lock of hair flies to cover the eyes, the karabi flower drops.
Oh, who swings today on the lonely swaying bakul branch?

In this chaos, who has moored his boat, his new boat by the riverside?
Clumps of cotton-like moss
Fill the watery banks.
The clouds sing soulful songs with tear-filled eyes.
In this chaos, who has moored his new boat by the riverside?

My heart dances today —
Dances like a peacock.
A heavy downpour falls on the new leaves,
The garden quivers with the chirrup of crickets.
The river has crossed the bank and approaches the village.
My heart dances today — dances like a peacock.

*Loose end of a Saree

(This poem has been translated by Mitali Chakravarty)

There is also an English translation [1]of the poem by Tagore. The translation is shorter and of twenty lines only as opposed to the 41 lines of the full-length poem. The poet’s translation is a part of Tagore’s Poems edited by Krishna Kripalani, Amiya Chakravarty, Nirmalchandra Chattopadhyay and Pulinbehari Sen ( Calcutta: Visva Bharati, 1942).

Screenshot of Tagore’s own translation from Bichitra Varorium by Anasuya Bhar

 The poet’s own translation is sung in the original language it was written in, Bengali. Here we present the song sung by a reputed singer, Srikanto Acharya.

Thanks to Bichitra Varorium, to Anasuya Bhar for her research and editorial advise, Sohana Manzoor for her art and editorial comments. Tagore’s short translation has also been used as a resource for improving the translation of the full-length poem. 


[1] Bichitra Varorium, researched by Anasuya Bhar

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Categories
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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PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL