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Die oë van die pou

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‘n Gedig van Rabindranath Tagore:

In the Eyes of a Peacock

The terrace where I sit is screened
From the spingtime dawn sunshine.
What a boon to have leisure –
No pressing tasks crowding in upon me yet;
No hordes of people pestering me,
Trampling over my time.
I sit and write:
The sweetness of a free morning collects in my pen-nib
Like the juice that drips from a slit in a date-palm.
Our peacock has come to sit on the railing next to me,
Tail spread downwards.
He finds save refuge with me –
No unkind keeper comes to him here with shackles.
Outside, unripe mangoes dangle from branches;
Lemon trees are loaded with lemons;
A single kuŗci-tree seems surprised
By its excess of flowers.
The peacock bends his head to this side and that
With unthinking natural restlessness.
His detached stare
Pays not the slightest attention to the marks in my note-book.
If the letters were insects he would like:
He would not then regard a poet as utterly useless.
I smile at the peacock’s solemn indifference,
Observe my writing through his eyes;
And indeed the same aloofness
Is in the entire blue sky,
In every leaf of the tree that is hung with green mangoes,
In the buzzing of the wild bee-hive in our tamarind-tree.
I reflect that in ancient Mohenjodaro,
On a similarly idle late Caitra morning,
A poet must have written poems,
And universal nature took no account whatsoever.
The peacock is still to be found in the balance-sheet of life,
And green mangoes still hang from branches;
Their value in the gamut of nature from blue sky to green woods
Will not diminish at all.
But the poet of Mohenjodaro is completely excluded
From the wayside grass, from the dark night’s fireflies.

I expand my consciousness
Into endless time and vast earth;
I absorb the huge detachment of nature’s own meditations
Into my own mind;
I regard the letters in my note-book
As autumnal flocks of insects –
I conclude that if I were to tear out the pages today
I would merely be advancing the ultimate cremation awaiting
them anyway.

Suddenly I hear a voice –
‘Grandfather, are you writing?’
Someone else has come – not a peacock this time
But Sunayanī, as she is called in the house,
But whom I call Śunāyanī because she listens so well.
She has the right to hear my poems before anyone else.
I reply, ‘This won’t appeal to your sensitive ears:
It’s verse libre.’
A wave of furrows plays across her forehead –
‘I’ll put up with it,’ she says,
Then adds a little flattery:
‘Prose, when you recite it,
Can take on the colour of poetry.’
And she throws her arms round my neck and hugs me.
I quip, ‘Are you trying to transfer some of that poetic colour
From my throat into your arms?’
She answers, ‘That’s not how a poet should talk:
I’m the one who passes the touch of poetry into your voice:
I may even have awoken song.’

I listen in silence, too happy to reply.
I say to myself – The aloofness of nature
Is constant, like a mountain it looks down loftily
From numberless accumulated years.
But my Śunāyanī,
Morning star,
Can lightly and suddenly scale its immensity;
And time’s great disregard surrenders to that instant.

Poet of Mohenjodaro, your evening star
Has passed through its setting
To surmount again the crest of morning
Here in my life.

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Written by George Maru

30 Desember 2006 at 10:41

Posted in poësie

2 Responses

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  1. Hallo George

    But the poet of Mohenjodaro is completely excluded
    From the wayside grass, from the dark night’s fireflies.

    Dit is so pragtig. Die peacocks en al die ander kleur en geure van Indië.

    Rabindranath Tagore se nalatenskap is net so ongelooflik wonderlik en magical. Ek ken uiters min van sy geskrifte nog. Dankie vir hierdie Oë van ‘n pou. Beautiful verby.

    Prose poetry is ook pragtig, mens kan dit net nie so maklik memoriseer soos vorm poësie nie dink ek.

    Suddenly I hear a voice –
    ‘Grandfather, are you writing?’
    Someone else has come – not a peacock this time
    But Sunayanī, as she is called in the house,
    But whom I call Śunāyanī because she listens so well.
    She has the right to hear my poems before anyone else.
    I reply, ‘This won’t appeal to your sensitive ears:
    It’s verse libre.’

    Te pragtig die vertelling

    Groete\A

    Annora Eksteen

    5 Julie 2009 at 17:44

  2. Bly jy het dit geniet, Annora! 🙂

    George Maru

    18 Julie 2009 at 10:16


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