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One bird singing back to another because it can’t not

bird2

lhertzel_1366044828_jane-hirshfield
Jane Hirshfield

Award-winning poet, essayist, and translator Jane Hirshfield is the author of several collections of verse, including Come, Thief (2011), After (2006), shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot prize, and Given Sugar, Given Salt (2001), a finalist for the National Book Critics Award, among others.

Influences on her work have been classical Chinese poets Tu Fu, Li Po, Wang Wei, and Han Shan; classical Japanese Heian-Era poets Komachi and Shikibu; and such lesser-known traditions as Eskimo and Nahuatl poetry.

 

One bird singing back to another because it can’t not

“Everything has two endings-
a horse, a piece of string, a phone call.

Before a life, air.
And after.

As silence is not silence, but a limit of hearing.

As some strings, untouched,
sound when no one is speaking.

So it was when love slipped inside us.

As this life is not a gate, but the horse plunging through it.

The heart’s actions
are neither the sentence nor its reprieve.

Salt hay and thistles, above the cold granite.
One bird singing back to another because it can’t not.”

Jane Hirshfield

 

 

rabindranath-tagore

Rabindranath Tagore

The Unheeded Pageant

 

AH, who was it coloured that little frock, my child, and covered your sweet limbs with that little red tunic?

You have come out in the morning to play in the courtyard, tottering and tumbling as you run.

But who was it coloured that little frock, my child?


What is it makes you laugh, my little life-bud?

Mother smiles at you standing on the threshold.

She claps her hands and her bracelets jingle, and you dance with your bamboo stick in your hand like a tiny little shepherd.

But what is it makes you laugh, my little life-bud?


O beggar, what do you beg for, clinging to your mother’s neck with both your hands?

O greedy heart, shall I pluck the world like a fruit from the sky to place it on your little rosy palm?

O beggar, what are you begging for?

The wind carries away in glee the tinkling of your anklet bells.

The sun smiles and watches your toilet. The sky watches over you when you sleep in your mother’s arms, and the morning comes tiptoe to your bed and kisses your eyes.

The wind carries away in glee the tinkling of your anklet bells.


The fairy mistress of dreams is coming towards you, flying through the twilight sky.

The world-mother keeps her seat by you in your mother’s heart.

He who plays his music to the stars is standing at your window with his flute.

And the fairy mistress of dreams is coming towards you, flying through the twilight sky.

–  Rabindranath Tagore

 

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was a Bengali poet, philosopher, artist, playwright, composer and novelist. India’s first Nobel laureate, Tagore won the 1913 Nobel Prize for Literature. He composed the text of both India’s and Bangladesh’s respective national anthems. Tagore travelled widely and was friends with many notable 20th century figures such as William Butler Yeats, H.G. Wells, Ezra Pound, and Albert Einstein. While he supported Indian Independence, he often had tactical disagreements with Gandhi (at one point talking him out of a fast to the death). His body of literature is deeply sympathetic for the poor and upholds universal humanistic values. His poetry drew from traditional Vaisnava folk lyrics and was often deeply mystical.

Picture credit of featured image of bird: Wallpaiper.com

2 Comments

  1. The editing of the video is amazing!!!

    • Agree. The film’s decision to shoot birds on a simple white background allows you to see the beauty of the birds closeup. Nice.

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