Rabindranath Tagore



At midnight a bud opens in the dark forest


At midnight a bud opens in the dark forest.
Even so I was not aware of that moment
when I first came through
into this life. Yet I knew where I was.
And that force that made the bud open
into the forest familiar and generous enough
gave me into the arms of my mother.
The bud knew all that was needed, and I too
felt that same force without name.
Death too is unknown,
and yet then as well
all will be given. The child cries out
when removed from one breast but soon
finds solace enough in the other,
no less familiar, no less generous.


      Bengali; trans. David Ray
      –from Three Prayers: After Tagore, 1


Rabindranath Tagore, Bengali, trans. David Ray, Music of
Time: Selected & New Poems by David Ray, The
Backwaters Press, 2006.