by Rabindranath Tagore
A poem translated from Bengali into English by the author himself in 1912.
Devoted to forgetting oneself to connect with the Divine, Tagore believes art is a conduit to Divine truth for humankind. He aspires for his verse to be a worthy vessel for this truth.
My song has put off her adornments.
She has no pride of dress and decoration.
Ornaments would mar our union;
they would come between thee and me;
their jingling would drown thy whispers.
My poet's vanity dies in shame before thy sight.
O master poet, I have sat down at thy feet.
Only let me make my life simple and straight,
like a flute of reed for thee to fill with music.
1 The title is a literal one; from Tagore's Nobel Prize-winning collection Gitanjali, the poem is in fact meant to be sung. Conceived of as a song offering, or devotional song, it focuses on communion with the divine.
PORTRAIT: Rabindranath Tagore, photographer unknown (1931).
CITATION INFORMATION (in MLA format): Tagore Rabindranath. "Song VII." Gleeditions, 17 Apr. 2011, www.gleeditions.com/songvii/students/pages.asp?lid=314&pg=5. Originally published in Gitanjali: Song Offerings, by Rabindranath Tagore, Macmillan, 1916, p. 6.