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You Did Not Find Me, By Rabindranath Tagore

You did not find me, you did not.

I sat absent minded in a corner,

the lamp had gone out.

You went away seeing no one.

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You came to the door

and then forgot,

it would have opened had you knocked.

The boat of my fate ran aground

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on this tiny rock.

On a stormy night I sat counting time,

but I failed to hear your chariot’s sound.

Shuddering in the thunder’s rumbling noise

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I pressed my hands tightly round my breast.

In the sky the fiery flame of lightning

wrote a curse, then disappeared.

--TRANSLATED FROM THE BENGALI BY PRATIMER BOWES

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From “World Poetry,” edited by Katharine Washburn, John S. Major and Clifton Fadiman (W.W. Norton: 1,338 pp., $45)


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