Mother, the folk who live up in the clouds call out to me, “We play from the time we wake till the day ends. We play with the golden dawn, we play with the silver moon.” I ask, “But how am I to get up to you?” They answer, “Come to the edge of the earth, lift up your hands to the sky, and you will be taken into the clouds.” I say, “My mother is waiting for me at home, how can I leave her and come?” Then they smile and float away.

But I know a nicer game than that, Mother. I shall be the cloud and you the moon. I shall cover you with both my hands, and our housetop will be the blue sky.

Mother, the folk who live in the waves call out to me, “We sing from morning till night, on and on we travel and know not where we pass.” I ask, “But how am I to join you?” They tell me, “Come to the edge of the shore and stand with you eyes tight shut, and you will be carried upon the waves.” I say, “My mother always wants me at home in the evening. How can I leave her and go?” Then they smile, dance and pass by.

But I know a nicer game than that, Mother. I will be the waves and you will be a strange shore. I shall roll on and on and on, and break upon your lap with laughter. And no one in the world will know where we both are. 

(This simple and beautiful poem was written by Rabindranath Tagore originally in Bengali and published in a collection named Sishu in 1903. Its English translation was later published under the title The Crescent Moon.)

Advertisements