You woman, you are not a creation of God alone,
It’s man who made you what you are
by infusing beauty on to you from his heart.
The poets sit and spin your apparel with golden threads.
By attributing new glory to you, the artists have made
your image immortal.
How many colours, how many aromas and jewels
are on display -
Pearls come out of sea, gold comes from mines,
From the garden in spring comes the bouquet of flowers,
The insects inject their life into lac - to colour your feet.
By imparting shyness, by dressing you up and covering you with veils,
they have made you hard to access and kept you hidden.
Burning desire has cast its shadow on you -
In reality, half of you is woman, the other half comes from imagination.
‘Manasi’ The graceful woman of one’s imagination.
English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem entitled “Manasi” from his
collection of poems Chaitali in Sanchayita,11thed., 2010 p.285.
The first line of the original Bengali poem- shudhu bidhatar sristi naha tumi nari
Published in THE VISVA-BHARATI QUARTERLY
Volume 24 Number 4 Jan 2016 – March 2016 p 11.