Plucking your eyebrows

By Kabir 1440–1518 Kabir

Translated from the Hindi by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra Read the translator's notes

Plucking your eyebrows,
Putting on mascara,
But will that help you
To see things anew?

The one who sees
Is changed into
The one who’s seen
Only if one is

Salt and the other
Water. But you, says Kabir,
Are a dead
Lump of quartz.

Source: Poetry (March 2011).

MORE FROM THIS ISSUE

This poem originally appeared in the March 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

March 2011

Biography

 
Though little is known of the life of the Indian mystic and poet Kabir, it is believed he was born in or near Benares. He grew up in a family of Muslim weavers before becoming a disciple of the Hindu ascetic Ramananda. Kabir is considered both a Sufi and Brahmin saint.
 
Kabir’s poetry draws on both Hinduism and Islam, though he was critical of certain aspects of both faiths. Some of his verses are included in the compilation . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Religion, The Spiritual, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION Asia, South

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem


Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.