• Parabaas
    Parabaas : পরবাস : বাংলা ভাষা, সাহিত্য ও সংস্কৃতি
  • পরবাস | Rabindranath Tagore | Poem
  • The Year 1400 : Rabindranath Tagore
    translated from Bengali to English by Ketaki Kushari Dyson

               A hundred years from today
    who are you, sitting, reading a poem of mine,
                    under curiosity’s sway -
               a hundred years from today?

                    Not the least portion
    of this young spring’s morning bliss,
               neither blossom nor birdsong,
                    nor any of its scarlet splashes
               can I drench in passion
                    and despatch to your hands
                    a hundred years hence!

    Yet do this, please: unlatch your south-faced door,
                just sit at your window for once;
    basking in fantasy, eyes on the far horizon,
                    figure out if you can:
                how one day a hundred years back
    roving delights in a free fall from a heavenly region
                had touched all that there was -
    the infant Phalgun day, utterly free,
                   was frenzied, all agog,
    while borne on brisk wings, the south wind
    had suddenly arrived and in a flash dyed the earth
                   with all youth’s hues
                a hundred years before your day.

    There lived then a poet, ebullient of spirit,
                   his heart steeped in song,
    who wanted to open his words like so many flowers
                   with so much passion
                one day a hundred years back.

                A hundred years from today
                        who is the new poet
    whose songs flow through your homes?
                        To him I convey
                this springtime’s gladsome greetings.
    May my vernal song find its echo for a moment
                        in your spring day
    in the throbbing of your hearts, in the buzzing of your bees,
                     in the rustling of your leaves
               a hundred years from today.

    To mark the year 1400 of the Bengali calendar, this translation was read out by the translator at an event in 1993 jointly organized by the Nehru Centre of the High Commission of India in London and the Tagore Centre of London, and held in the premises of the Nehru Centre.

    - 2 Phalgun 1302 (13 February 1896), From Chitra (1896)
    - Translated by Ketaki Kushari Dyson
    - Published in Parabaas July 15, 2001
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