Rabindranath Tagore

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

Vocation


When the gong sounds ten in the morning and I walk to school by our
lane.
Every day I meet the hawker crying, "Bangles, crystal
bangles!"
There is nothing to hurry him on, there is no road he must
take, no place he must go to, no time when he must come home.
I wish I were a hawker, spending my day in the road, crying,
"Bangles, crystal bangles!"
When at four in the afternoon I come back from the school,
I can see through the gate of that house the gardener digging
the ground.
He does what he likes with his spade, he soils his clothes
with dust, nobody takes him to task if he gets baked in the sun or
gets wet.
I wish I were a gardener digging away at the garden with
nobody to stop me from digging.
Just as it gets dark in the evening and my mother sends me to
bed,
I can see through my open window the watchman walking up and
down.
The lane is dark and lonely, and the street-lamp stands like
a giant with one red eye in its head.
The watchman swings his lantern and walks with his shadow at
his side, and never once goes to bed in his life.
I wish I were a watchman walking the streets all night,
chasing the shadows with my lantern.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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  • Veteran Poet - 2,622 Points Rajesh Thankappan (1/26/2015 9:55:00 AM)

    The boy in his childish ignorance and does not comprehend the difficulties and hardship involved in different vocations and finds escape from his everyday structured life (through his wishful thinking) into the roads of freedom by swapping his place with people whom he meet in his everyday life. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Bubblegum Buddy (3/13/2012 3:30:00 AM)

    'Vocation’, a beautiful poem by Rabindranath Tagore, highlights the feelings
    of a boy, who craves for freedom from his regimentated life. A boy who is bound by the rules of school, home and society, observes the routine life of a bangle-seller, a gardener and a watchman and wants to take their place. The routine bound boy wants freedom like these people. He wants to be anyone of them. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Puneet Nahata (1/31/2006 1:34:00 PM)

    'Vocation’, a beautiful poem by Rabindranath Tagore, highlights the feelings
    of a boy, who craves for freedom from his regimentated life. A boy who is bound by the rules of school, home and society, observes the routine life of a bangle-seller, a gardener and a watchman and wants to take their place. The routine bound boy wants freedom like these people. He wants to be anyone of them. (Report) Reply

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