Rabindranath Tagore (translations by Tony K. Stewart and Chase Twichell)

Poems from The Lover of God: Rabindranath Tagore's Songs of the Poet Sun-Lion

The four poems translated here come from a cycle of twenty-two lyrics in the manner of sixteenth century Hindu Vaisnava poets who wrote in an obscure literary dialect of Bengali called Brajabuli. Tradition invites the author-devotee to assume a female persona to establish a proper relationship to the object of devotion, Lord Krishna. The devotee's poetic identity—here an elderly woman called Bhanusimha, a fanciful etymological rendering of Tagore's own name—enters the drama as a companion of Krishna's favorite girlfriend Radha, who struggles to understand the caprice of love.

Published pseudonymously at first, these poems were often dismissed as the work of a precocious 14 year old, but ironically haunted Tagore through successive revisions spanning the next 66 years—a compelling indicator of their hold on him and their expression of a very private and passionate world. They were among the very last poems he revised months before his death.

ONE: English // Bengali

TWO: English // Bengali

SEVEN: English // Bengali

EIGHT: English // Bengali


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