Rabindranath Tagore

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

The Banyan Tree - Poem by Rabindranath Tagore

O you shaggy-headed banyan tree standing on the bank of the pond,
have you forgotten the little chile, like the birds that have
nested in your branches and left you?
Do you not remember how he sat at the window and wondered at
the tangle of your roots and plunged underground?
The women would come to fill their jars in the pond, and your
huge black shadow would wriggle on the water like sleep struggling
to wake up.
Sunlight danced on the ripples like restless tiny shuttles
weaving golden tapestry.
Two ducks swam by the weedy margin above their shadows, and
the child would sit still and think.
He longed to be the wind and blow through your resting
branches, to be your shadow and lengthen with the day on the water,
to be a bird and perch on your topmost twig, and to float like
those ducks among the weeds and shadows.

Topic(s) of this poem: tree


Comments about The Banyan Tree by Rabindranath Tagore

  • (6/20/2016 11:39:00 PM)


    The poet compares the “shadow wriggling”on the water to “sleep struggling to wake up”.Do you think the comparrison is appropriate? Why (Report) Reply

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  • (6/20/2016 11:38:00 PM)


    Why does the huge black shadow of the tree wriggle when the women come to the pond? (Report) Reply

  • (6/20/2016 11:37:00 PM)


    What does the word Shaggymean? Does the word aptly describe a banyan tree? (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: water, women, remember, tree, child, sleep, wind, woman, dance, swimming, children



Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004

Poem Edited: Tuesday, December 23, 2014


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