(“Lest I should know you...”)

By Rabindranath Tagore 1861–1941 Rabindranath Tagore
                                                      VIII

Lest I should know you too easily, you play with me.
You blind me with flashes of laughter to hide your tears.
I know, I know your art;
You never say the word you would.

Lest I should prize you not, you elude me in a thousand ways.
Lest I should mix you with the crowd, you stand aside.
I know, I know your art;
You never walk the path you would.

Your claim is more than others; that is why you are silent.
With a playful carelessness you avoid my gifts.
I know, I know your art;
You never accept what you would.

Source: Poetry (June 1913).

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This poem originally appeared in the June 1913 issue of Poetry magazine

June 1913
 Rabindranath  Tagore

Biography

A native of Calcutta, India, who wrote in Bengali and often translated his own work into English, Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 — the first Asian to receive the honor. He wrote poetry, fiction, drama, essays, and songs; promoted reforms in education, aesthetics and religion; and in his late sixties he even turned to the visual arts, producing 2,500 paintings and drawings before his death.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships

POET’S REGION Asia, South

Poetic Terms Refrain

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