Rabindranath Tagore

(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941 / Calcutta (Kolkata), Bengal Presidency / British India)

Palm Tree - Poem by Rabindranath Tagore

Palm-tree: single-legged giant,
topping other trees,
peering at the firmament -
It longs to pierce the black cloud-ceiling
and fly away, away,
if only it had wings.

The tree seems to express its wish
in the tossing of its head:
its fronds heave and swish -
It thinks, Maybe my leaves are feathers,
and nothing stops me now
from rising on their flutter.

All day the fronds the windblown tree
soar and flap and shudder
as though it thinks it can fly,
As though it wanders in the skies,
travelling who knows where,
wheeling past the stars -

And then as soon as the wind dies down,
the fronds subside, subside:
the mind of the tree returns.
To earth, recalls that earth is its mother:
and then it likes once more
its earthly corner.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, March 23, 2010

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