10 Heart-warming Rabindranath Tagore Poems

Rabindranath Tagore, the bard of Bengal, was a literary genius who left a lasting literary legacy for his country and the world. We know him for his writings, poetry, contribution to the freedom struggle, the Vishwa Bharati University and Gitanjali – his collection of poems.

He was a man much ahead of his times who has inspired generations with his thoughts and revolutionary ideas. Tagore is a name known not only in India but in other countries as well. The works of Rabindranath Tagore are famous all over the world. He was the first non-European to be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913 for his work Gitanjali which was first published in India in 1910. This is now part of the UNESCO Collection of Representative works. 

A creative genius, he wrote his first poem at the age of eight.

Remembering him on his 160th death anniversary, we have put together some of his poems to remind us of his creative genius. The thoughts, the feelings and the ideas are as relevant today as they were then.

Here are Some of Rabindranath Tagore Poems

1. Where the Mind is without Fear

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

2. Freedom

Freedom from fear is the freedom
I claim for you my motherland!
Freedom from the burden of the ages, bending your head,
breaking your back, blinding your eyes to the beckoning
call of the future;
Freedom from the shackles of slumber wherewith
you fasten yourself in night’s stillness,
mistrusting the star that speaks of truth’s adventurous paths;
freedom from the anarchy of destiny
whole sails are weakly yielded to the blind uncertain winds,
and the helm to a hand ever rigid and cold as death.
Freedom from the insult of dwelling in a puppet’s world,
where movements are started through brainless wires,
repeated through mindless habits,
where figures wait with patience and obedience for the
master of show,

3. The Boat

I must launch out my boat.
The languid hours pass by on the
shore—Alas for me!
The spring has done its flowering and taken leave.
And now with the burden of faded futile flowers I wait and linger.
The waves have become clamorous, and upon the bank in the shady lane
the yellow leaves flutter and fall.
What emptiness do you gaze upon!
Do you not feel a thrill passing through the air
with the notes of the far-away song

4. Paper Boats

Day by day I float my paper boats one by one down the running
stream.
In big black letters I write my name on them and the name of
the village where I live.
I hope that someone in some strange land will find them and
know who I am.
I load my little boats with shiuli flower from our garden, and
hope that these blooms of the dawn will be carried safely to land
in the night.
I launch my paper boats and look up into the sky and see the
little clouds setting thee white bulging sails.
I know not what playmate of mine in the sky sends them down
the air to race with my boats!
When night comes I bury my face in my arms and dream that my
paper boats float on and on under the midnight stars.
The fairies of sleep are sailing in them, and the lading ins
their baskets full of dreams.

5. Endless Time

Time is endless in thy hands, my lord.
There is none to count thy minutes.
Days and nights pass and ages bloom and fade like flowers.
Thou knowest how to wait.
Thy centuries follow each other perfecting a small wild flower.
We have no time to lose,
and having no time we must scramble for a chance.
We are too poor to be late.
And thus it is that time goes by
while I give it to every querulous man who claims it,
and thine altar is empty of all offerings to the last.
At the end of the day I hasten in fear lest thy gate be shut;
but I find that yet there is time.
On Missing a Dear One
let me not forget

6. Waiting

The song I came to sing
remains unsung to this day.
I have spent my days in stringing
and in unstringing my instrument.
The time has not come true,
the words have not been rightly set;
only there is the agony
of wishing in my heart…..
I have not seen his face,
nor have I listened to his voice;
only I have heard his gentle footsteps
from the road before my house…..
But the lamp has not been lit
and I cannot ask him into my house;
I live in the hope of meeting with him;
but this meeting is not yet.

7. Last Curtain

I know that the day will come
when my sight of this earth shall be lost,
and life will take its leave in silence,
drawing the last curtain over my eyes.
Yet stars will watch at night,
and morning rise as before,
and hours heave like sea waves casting up pleasures and pains.
When I think of this end of my moments,
the barrier of the moments breaks
and I see by the light of death
thy world with its careless treasures.
Rare is its lowliest seat,
rare is its meanest of lives.
Things that I longed for in vain
and things that I got
—let them pass.
Let me but truly possess
the things that I ever spurned
and overlooked.

8. A Hundred Years Hence

A hundred years hence
Who it is
With such curiosity
Reads my poems
A hundred years hence!
Shall I be able to send you
An iota of joy of this fresh spring morning
The flower that blooms today
The songs that the birds sing
The glow of today’s setting sun
Filled with my feelings of love?
Yet for a moment
Open up your southern gate
And take your seat at the window
Look at the far horizon
And visualize in your mind’s eye –
One day a hundred years ago
A restless ecstasy drifted from the skies
And touched the heart of this world
The early spring mad with joy
Knew no bounds
Spreading its restless wings
The southern breeze blew
Carrying the scent of flowers’ pollen
All on a sudden soon
They coloured the world with a youthful glow
A hundred years ago.
That day a young poet kept awake
With an excited heart filled with songs
With so much ardour
Anxious to express so many things
Like buds of flowers straining to bloom
One day a hundred years ago.
A hundred years hence
What young poet
Sings songs in your homes!
For him
I send my tidings of joy of this spring.
Let it echo for a moment
In your spring, in your heartbeats,
In the humming of the bees
In the rustling of the leaves
A hundred years hence.

Also Read: Teacher’s Day

9. Friend

Art thou abroad on this stormy night
on thy journey of love, my friend?
The sky groans like one in despair.
I have no sleep tonight.
Ever and again I open my door and look out on
the darkness, my friend!
I can see nothing before me.
I wonder where lies thy path!
By what dim shore of the ink-black river,
by what far edge of the frowning forest,
through what mazy depth of gloom art thou threading
thy course to come to me, my friend?

10. In The Dusky Path of a Dream

In the dusky path of a dream I went to seek the love who was mine in a former life.
Her house stood at the end of a desolate street.
In the evening breeze her pet peacock sat drowsing on its perch, and the pigeons were silent in their corner.
She set her lamp down by the portal and stood before me.
She raised her large eyes to my face and mutely asked, “Are you well, my friend?”
I tried to answer, but our language had been lost and forgotten.
I thought and thought; our names would not come to my mind.
Tears shone in her eyes. She held up her right hand to me. I took it and stood silent.
Our lamp had flickered in the evening breeze and died.

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2 Comments

  1. zoritoler imol September 4, 2022 at 7:38 pm - Reply

    Saved as a favorite, I really like your blog!

    • Sangeeta Relan September 4, 2022 at 7:41 pm - Reply

      Thank you!

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Hello! I’m Sangeeta Relan. Aside from being an educationist teaching at the university level for the last 28 years, I have been a corporate wife and a mother to two boys who have now flown the nest. I love cooking, singing, travelling and exploring new places.

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