Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was Bengali polymath who reshaped his region’s literature and music. Author of Gitanjali and its “profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse”, he became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. In translation his poetry was viewed as spiritual and mercurial; his seemingly mesmeric personality, flowing hair, and other-worldly dress earned him a prophet-like reputation in the West. His “elegant prose and magical poetry” remain largely unknown outside Bengal.
This lovely poem is all about waiting.
The song I came to sing
remains unsung to this day.
I have spent my days in stringing
and in unstringing my instrument.
The time has not come true,
the words have not been rightly set;
only there is the agony
of wishing in my heart…..
I have not seen his face,
nor have I listened to his voice;
only I have heard his gentle footsteps
from the road before my house…..
But the lamp has not been lit
and I cannot ask him into my house;
I live in the hope of meeting with him;
but this meeting is not yet.