Rabindranath Tagore

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

Krishnakali - Poem by Rabindranath Tagore

In the village they call her the dark girl
but to me she is the flower Krishnakali
On a cloudy day in a field
I saw the dark girl's dark gazelle-eyes.
She had no covering on her head,
her loose hair had fallen on her back.

Dark? However dark she be,
I have seen her dark gazelleeyes.

Two black cows were lowing,
as it grew dark under the heavy clouds.
So with anxious, hurried steps,
the dark girl came from her hut.
Raising her eyebrows toward the sky,
she listened a moment to the clouds' rumble.

Dark? However dark she be,
I have seen her dark gazelle-eyes.

A gust of the east wind
rippled the rice plants.
I was standing by a ridge,
alone in the field.
Whether or not she looked at me
Is known only to us two.

Dark? However dark she be,
I have seen her dark gazelle-eyes.

This how the Kohldark cloud
rises in the northeast in Jaistha;
the soft dark shadow
descends on the Tamal grove in Asharh;
and sudden delight floods the heart
in the night of Sravan.

Dark? However dark she be,
I have seen her dark gazelle-eyes.

To me she is the flower Krishnakali,
whatever she may be called by others.
In a field in Maynapara village
I saw the dark girl's dark gazelle-eyes.
She did not cover her head,
not having the time to feel embarrassed.

Dark? However dark she be,
I have seen her dark gazelle-eyes.

Comments about Krishnakali by Rabindranath Tagore

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (4/15/2017 10:38:00 PM)

    In the field.... thanks for posting..... (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Madhabi Banerjee (4/15/2017 10:47:00 AM)

    my favourite one.i love it. my sentiment (Report) Reply

  • Lantz Pierre (4/15/2017 8:44:00 AM)

    I feel like I'm only getting a fraction of this, but the more I understand the references the more awe struck I am by its power. The repeated strophe suggests to me that this may have been originally intended as a song, and there are references out there that confirm this. Leaving that aside and looking at the main stanzas the first thing I noticed was the circular composition, the woman being absorbed by the onlooker has loose hair in the opening stanza and that a reference to that is brought back around in the final stanza. In fact, the final stanza suggests the whole of the poem takes places in a moment, not leaving the woman time to cover her head. But the intervening stanzas create a fullness of experience that far surpasses what is perceived in a momentary glance. There are details that draw the scene out, that add a richness and depth to what the onlooker is seeing and feeling. In fact, the penultimate stanza, to the best of ability to research unfamiliar words, draws the inferences out over months of the year. There is in this a kind of stoppage of time, or at least a condensing of it. The narrator of the poem is awed by the woman and she comes to dominate his song, his landscape, his perception of time. The strophes work to reinforce this kind of passing of time, the repetition of days and months and seasons. The swift footed gazelle is spied and, in a way, captured by the poet. A really layered effort of emotion and concentration. I only wish I had a greater familiarity with some of the references, I am confident there are additional depths to be plumed beyond my grasp. And maybe that too is as it should be. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (4/15/2017 4:22:00 AM)

    Dark she be! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Tom Allport (4/15/2017 2:57:00 AM)

    a poem of seeing beauty in what ever the colour? ............well written. (Report) Reply

  • (4/25/2016 7:39:00 AM)

    Whether or not she looked at me
    Is known only to us two

    .. I like the hint of mystery ★
    (Report) Reply

  • Deepankar Chakraborty (5/24/2015 6:44:00 AM)

    That is a tribute to those who have to suffer a lot for their blackness! ! (Report) Reply

  • Rashed Fatema (1/9/2013 6:34:00 AM)

    i m black dtz y i lyk dis poem.... (Report) Reply

  • (12/24/2011 11:44:00 PM)

    i loved this poem. when i started reading i got hook well written to (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, March 23, 2010

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