I won’t come

By Kabir 1440–1518 Kabir

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

I won’t come
I won’t go
I won’t live
I won’t die

I’ll keep uttering
The name
And lose myself
In it

I’m bowl
And I’m platter
I’m man
And I’m woman

I’m grapefruit
And I’m sweet lime
I’m Hindu
And I’m Muslim

I’m fish
And I’m net
I’m fisherman
And I’m time

I’m nothing
Says Kabir
I’m not among the living
Or the dead

Source: Poetry (March 2011).

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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

POET’S REGION Asia, South

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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