(“I found a few old letters...”)

By Rabindranath Tagore 1861–1941 Rabindranath Tagore
                                                      XIV

         I found a few old letters of mine carefully hidden in thy box—a few small toys for thy memory to play with. With a timorous heart thou didst try to steal these trifles from the turbulent stream of time which washes away planets and stars, and didst say, “These are only mine!” Alas, there is no one now who can claim them—who is able to pay their price; yet they are still here. Is there no love in this world to rescue thee from utter loss, even like this love of thine that saved these letters with such fond care?
         O woman, thou camest for a moment to my side and touched me with the great mystery of the woman that there is in the heart of creation—she who ever gives back to God his own outflow of sweetness; who is the eternal love and beauty and youth; who dances in bubbling streams and sings in the morning light; who with heaving waves suckles the thirsty earth and whose mercy melts in rain; in whom the eternal one breaks in two in joy that can contain itself no more and overflows in the pain of love.

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, Love, Men & Women, Romantic Love, Heartache & Loss

POET’S REGION Asia, South

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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